Since I turned eighteen, I have spent the last three summers working at a nearby paper mill. For me, that meant working three to four 12-hour shifts (no breaks) for 36 to 48 hours a week, for two weeks of days and two weeks of nights. My schedule was always Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday, 6 am to 6 pm, or 6 pm to 6 am. In short, it was a lot—but I felt like I should give these time frames to explain exactly how it has consumed the summers of 2018, 2019 and 2020 for me. While I can be bitter about this, I weirdly do love it and think fondly of it (but based on my early Variety articles, I’m pretty sure I depict it as Stockholm Syndrome).
I’m not someone who really grew up with Star Wars — my parents were never big fans — and I was really into Harry Potter for the majority of my childhood. However, before the sequels started to come out in high school, I decided that I’d watch the original trilogy for the first time. I did, admittedly, think the movies were a bit cheesy at times, but something sucked me in. I liked this universe, and I liked how it differed from Harry Potter.
I moved into the dorms this year knowing that on that same day in 2020, I was moving to Oxford, England to study at Oxford. I can’t believe it has been a year. I have so many feelings about that, and as many more students are able to study abroad now (rather than just two students in fall 2020), I wanted to reflect.