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To my sophomore year of college,

It’s hard to look back on this year without thinking of everything I’ve missed.

A year ago, when I sat in my childhood bedroom reflecting on my freshman year, I expected everything to be normal by this past fall. We all did. No one thought this would continue on for this long. I was hopeful then, for a brighter sophomore year than the disappointing end to my first one.

I can’t think of this year without thinking about what it could have been. There are friends I haven’t seen since last March because they didn’t come back to campus. I didn’t go to a single party, a single hockey game, and very, very few in-person classes.

[bf_image id="xr4h74q8s2tfwm836g8pxx"] But I don’t want to remember sophomore year as a year of burnout and disappointment, a smudge on the calendar of my life, a reminder of what college is supposed to be, but wasn’t.

Instead, I want to be grateful for this year, for everything it’s reminded me that I do have. Moments like this remind us not to take life for granted, and honestly, we could all use that reminder.

I am grateful that I did not lose anyone close to me to COVID-19. I am grateful that I was able to live on campus, spending the year with my two best friends by my side. I am grateful that I never got sick. I am grateful that I was able to continue to learn during this mess of a year, even if online classes left much to be desired. I am grateful to know that I will be vaccinated sometime in the next month and that this time, with much more certainty, we can all look forward to a normal fall.

[bf_image id="rq96n8tgc3rr564hbb7wj"] That word—certainty—is what has been most important to me in my reflection of this school year. This year has been the most uncertain one of my life, which hasn’t always been easy for me to cope with. It’s hard not knowing what comes next. A year ago, I thought I knew. I thought we were only losing a few months, not more than a year. And I was very, very wrong. Nothing I was expecting for my sophomore year came true.

But, that’s okay. This year has helped me learn that change and uncertainty aren’t always the worst things. Life can still be beautiful and wonderful, even if it’s not filled with everything you’ve planned for it to be.

BU, I still love you, and I will see you in the fall—that I know for sure.

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Gabrielle is a senior studying English at Boston University. When she's not writing for Her Campus, you can find her listening to Taylor Swift, reading a romance novel, or exploring new places in Boston. You can follow her on insta @gabriellepeck15.
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