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Dear Senior Year: An Election, A Pandemic, A New Type of Learning

Picture this: you’re 21 years old and ready for the first weekend of your senior year of college in Boston. What happens next? Well, the world is at your fingertips…isn’t it?

That’s not exactly the right answer this year, though.

As I moved into my apartment this year, I spent a good amount of time worrying about what this year would bring. I am so excited about my senior year, but I’m also incredibly nervous—and for the wrong reasons. The nerves should be about grad school applications and job searching. The nerves should be about reconnecting with old friends and deciding what color scheme my room is going to be.

Instead, the nerves are about remembering to wear a mask in class and asking my friends how many people they have been seeing. My move-in experience was hindered by being skeptical of the safest way to maintain a social life and keep my apartment “Covid-free.”

Original photo by Danielle Tullo

When my parents left to head home, I sat down, smiled real wide, and breathed a sigh of relief. I was alone. For the first time in months, I was not surrounded by anyone. It was a great moment.

However, instead of texting friends I hadn’t seen in months about the plans for the night, I had to stay in. No biggie—staying in isn’t the end of the world.

Five years ago, I was asked, “where do you see yourself in five years?” Not that I remember my answer all too well, but I’m confident that starting my senior year of college off in my room was not the answer.

But, here we are.

The world has taken a very different course than I had ever expected and it has thrown some of my plans around quite a bit. Nonetheless, I’m here in Boston to make the most of my senior year before I’m a big grown-up in the real world.

With a pivotal presidential election in November, growing political tension, an ongoing pandemic, endless online classes, and all the usual stressors of senior year, I’m naturally a bit concerned.

But I ask one thing of myself going into my senior year—please make the most of it.

Take the opportunities that come your way. Smile under the mask. Stay positive and breathe.

Woman In Black Long Sleeve Dress Standing On Brown Concrete
Stanley Morales / Pexels

As for my family, please be understanding. It’s not the end of the world, I get it. What’s important is staying healthy and safe, I know. But I made the decision to come back to Boston for the same reason I came to Boston in the first place—for the experience of growing up. I’m already stressed about how this year is going to play out, so let’s try not to make it worse.

Hey peers! Don’t be stupid. I really don’t want to deal with friends going home or people getting sick because of a frat basement. I think I speak for most seniors when I say this: underclassmen, Allston isn’t worth campus shutting down.

Senior year, please be as good as you possibly can be. I believe in you.

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Delanie is a senior at Boston University who loves Pavement's iced tea and the Charles River. She has a passion for writing and is on an adventure to find the best coffee shop in Boston. 
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