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Reflections After a Year of College During a Pandemic

We have finally reached the end of the semester… and the last week of Her Campus Conn for this year. Although no one could have anticipated the struggles and bright spots in a school year full of masks, socially distancing, and Zoom, we are certainly proud of how we have been able to persevere through everything. 

With only two days of class and a little less than a week of finals left, with two weeks until graduation and roughly 3 months of summer break ahead of us, we want to acknowledge the weirdness, difficulty, and positives of this year. And ’21 senior Elizabeth Berry and ’24 first-year Meredith Harper are sharing their reflections on what this year meant to them, embracing the good and the bad.

Elizabeth’s Reflection:

What was that? As I sit down to write this short reflection, I am struck by the absurdity that is attending part of your college career during a pandemic as well as the scary reality that I will soon be thrusted into the real world. I am not only sad that I will be graduating from Connecticut College in just 13 days, but also that my senior year lacked so many of the traditions and experiences I had been looking forward to as a first-year. This is not to say that I am not incredibly grateful for the hard work the administration has put into making an in-person graduation and mini senior week possible. But what I miss more than these grand celebrations are those smaller moments scattered throughout your college career which you don’t realize how much they mean to you until they are swept from under your feet. I am talking about grabbing dinner at Harris on a Friday night before heading to an N2O show. Walking across the bridge to attend an evening gathering at the Ridges and Wenches. Setting up camp in one of the student coffee shops while your friend makes you your second coffee. In some ways, I feel that the class of 2021 has been robbed of part of their junior and their entire senior year. But in other ways, I feel that we have learned so much about what it means to be a community and how to care for one another. I feel an immense amount of gratitude for embarking on this crazy year with none other than the camels who I now call my family.

Meredith’s Reflection:

As I reflect on my first year of college, a tumultuous year full of unknowns, I feel sentimental and pained that it’s already coming to an end. This year has shown me how time is ever continuing and consuming. Going into this year, I didn’t know what to expect. It was college, but it was also a global pandemic. Given the state of the world, the Camel community met this circumstance with extreme resiliency. As I get ready to say goodbye to my first year of college, I am beyond thankful for the past 9 months I spent on this campus. Although it wasn’t what I expected or what I had dreamed of my freshman year, it was still a cultivating experience. I learned how to be independent and also that the world is bigger than my perception of it. I found commonalty in my peers who also missed out on graduation, prom, and senior festivities. I found comfort in friends who also felt social anxiety in this setting due to spending months alone inside of their homes. At Conn, I found community. As we finally see light at the end of this long and winding tunnel of the COVID-19 pandemic, let’s not forget what we endured. Allow yourself to grieve what you lost, accept what you were given, and look ahead to what’s next. Here’s to sophomore year!

And with that, we hope that you, too, will take the time to reflect on this year and how much you have grown. Have a great summer, camels! :)

Elizabeth Berry

Conn Coll '21

Elizabeth Berry is an English and Italian Studies double major at Connecticut College with a passion for journalism. She enjoys overnight oats, traveling to new cities, and reading the night away.
Meredith Harper

Conn Coll '24

Meredith Harper is a first year at Connecticut College. She loves to write, listen to music, and hangout with friends.
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