Welcome to college covid edition

Growing up, I always loved to watch movies that took place in college. The main characters would make friends, go to parties and seemingly have the best time. My favorite college-based movie was (and still is) Pitch Perfect. To me, it was the quintessential college campus, with the activities fair on the quad, and non-stop acapella. It was my goal to have that same experience when I got to college. Honestly, when I visited Denison last summer, one of the first things that I loved was how it looked like the colleges in the movies I had grown up loving. Soon after that visit, I decided to apply early decision and was accepted last November. 

I spent the months between November and March thinking about what college would be like, how often my best friend could visit, and what experiences I would gain. Then, in March, the world turned upside down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Life as we knew it was gone, including the rest of my senior year of high school, and my typical college experience. I immediately began worrying about the possibility of starting college from my childhood bedroom, with my dad working in his room, my mom in her office, and my younger brother downstairs doing online school, not sitting in a classroom among my peers on a hilly campus. Thankfully, Denison decided to reopen this fall in a COVID safe manner, with mandatory masks, social distancing practices, and other regulations. I remember getting the email that campus would be open in the fall and being overwhelmed by relief and excitement that I would get out of the house I’d been quarantined in and start a new chapter. Then it hit me. In light of a pandemic, how would college look? Would it match my expectations? My anxiety overtook my excitement. As move in day crept closer, my anxiety levels crept higher. Would I adjust? What would wearing a mask all the time be like? Will people adhere to the regulations or will we be sent home mere weeks after arrival?

After the first few days, my worries began to ease. I sat on the quad doing homework and it hit me that I was living the college life I had envisioned. Despite wearing a mask and social distancing, I have been making friends, looking for clubs to join, spending time with my roommate, and adjusting to my course load. It hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies, trust me. However, if the past 6 months have taught my class year anything, it’s how to make the best out of difficult circumstances, rise above them, and be stronger versions of ourselves. When the COVID vaccine eventually comes, life may reverse to the normal we knew before months. 2020 has given us a new normal, one that has brought the world closer together amidst trying circumstances. The class of 2024 and our freshman year of college epitomizes the lessons that this year has taught us.