My university announced that the Fall 2020 semester will be online, and that sucks for everyone. Taking classes online is far from the typical college experience. My heart aches for the incoming freshman because their senior year of high school was ruined by COVID, and now this. Some people might want to take a gap year, and others might not. If you’re a senior like me, that might not be an option for you because you’re at the end of your college experience. As much as I hope to be back on campus in the spring, I’m skeptical of it. The thought of my entire senior year of college being taken away because of a virus is gut-wrenching. I’m not going to sugarcoat it because I feel a responsibility to be okay with accepting it in the future. However, I refuse to let this virus prevent me from having the best senior year possible.
Right now, our entire world and country is in a dark time with this pandemic. Even in the darkest of nights, there’s always a few shining stars and there will be a sunrise in the morning. To me, that’s hope and looking for a positive. This pandemic is sort of us forcing us as a society to take things day by day because you never know what will happen. As someone who loves to plan and predict my future, this has been a hard adjustment for me. However, the positive to that is that it’s made me more flexible and live in the moment more. When I think about my senior year, and how it will be far from typical, I think about living in the moment and making the most of them. I get to live my senior year through a pandemic! It will be such a unique experience, I will have content for my blog, I will have memories that hopefully nobody will have to recreate, and I’ll have stories to tell my family.
One thing that I’ve noticed about my generation within is that we are resourceful and will make the most out of any situation. I know that if my friends can’t all get together SAFELY, we’ll zoom and we’ll find creative ways to celebrate life and be there for each other. Whether it’s sending things in the mail or texting each other random emojis at least once a week. It’s the littlest things that can go a long way during the scariest times. Literally a hug in February after a hard weekend made me feel a lot less scared and a lot safer. Obviously, it’s kind of dangerous to hug someone that’s not within your household, but that’s beyond the point.
To my fellow seniors, it’s incredibly easy to look at only the negatives that come with an online semester. I urge you to find the positives and make the most of this “opportunity”. Maybe make a playlist of you and all your friends' favorite songs, so whenever you miss each other you put on that playlist and you think of each other. If possible, schedule a time to zoom each other or socially distant hang out with each other at least once a week. Senior year is a scary time for everyone regardless of the pandemic. It’s a fine where people are preparing to go off in different directions in different places, whether that’s going off to grad school, getting a job/pursuing a career, a combination of both, or traveling for a little bit. Everyone’s “next step” will be different. While that is daunting, it also emphasizes the need to look at the positives and make the most of this situation.
For all incoming freshmen, I hope your college experience has some sense of normalcy. I hope you can find ways to meet people and build those friendships that add that priceless value to your college experience. I wish I could give you advice, but I’m still figuring that part of going to an online university. Once I have some, I’ll write about it for sure.