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When looking back at the past academic semester, I have had many thoughts about how the year went. On one hand, the pandemic made it hard to have a normal semester, large gatherings didn’t happen, sorority formals and gatherings were not allowed and classes were mostly online. Ironically I think the biggest thing that I missed this year was the little things, such as the interactions with one another while walking across campus, grabbing coffee with a friend after class, and just seeing people’s smiling faces throughout the day.

However, this weird year has made for more intimate connections with people I thought I already knew so well. Gathering in large groups and just passing by saying hello, became small groups of people wearing sweatpants with no makeup. This has made for stronger connections and relationships between friends, and I found myself becoming best friends with people I would’ve probably never found myself watching a movie with on a Saturday night. It’s important to cherish these friendships and intimate relationships and be thankful for the people around you who have made this unprecedented year enjoyable and fun. 

With my junior year coming to a close, I can’t help but think about how this may affect senior year and also feel a sense of sadness for the current senior this year. Things are looking hopeful to have a more normal semester, with the current roll-out rate of vaccines and some states even lifting their mask mandate. However, when life returns to somewhat normal, it is important to cherish the little things that have been so dearly missed. Sure, having the big things return such as formals and events, I know that I will be looking out for those smiling faces around campus whether we have to be wearing a mask or not! 

The thought of graduating and starting my adult life terrifies yet excites me at the same time. When my time comes to an end as being a college student next year, I know I can look back and smile at all the memories and fun that I had along the way, even during the pandemic! 


Alicia is a Junior at Elon University majoring in Strategic Communications and minoring in Business Administration.
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