No one knew what to expect when the entire world turned upside down because of COVID-19. Schools closed, people lost their jobs, relationships fell apart and offices began remote work. People were getting sick, losing loved ones and struggling to cope with this new normal. This pandemic has been a giant mess for everyone, including college students.
I am not trying to downplay the experiences of anyone who has been trapped in quarantine; however, the effects of the pandemic on different groups are very much apparent. One such group is college students. Millions of students have had their taste of adulthood cut short. Class of 2020 graduates lost out on their final months of college with their friends and entered one of the worst job markets in years. Incoming freshmen are not able to receive the same experience previous students had no matter how hard schools try.
I never would have imagined that I would be entering my senior year of college with all virtual classes, clubs forced to meet online until further notice and many campus activities shifting to accommodate the virus. As someone who thrives on interpersonal interactions, virtual meetings just do not do it for me. Like many others, I am disappointed and frustrated that this country still lacks any shred of control over this virus. It is affecting my senior year, my friends and family, everyone in this country and the world.
No one can be completely sure what will happen this semester, let alone in the Spring. Geneseo’s administration has already made the decision to cancel Spring Break 2021 among other things, according to an email sent by President Denise Battles on Aug. 25 (unless the calendar changes again, of course). So far, a graduation date is still set, so at least we can look forward to that.
While I did not plan for the beginning of this article to be a lamentation of the senior year events I have lost—and may continue to lose—I know that it is important to look for the positives in this year. As the seniors before me, I will try to take these changes in stride. I will look for the things I can control.
I am very lucky to have my job. I can participate in all my clubs even though they are virtual. I can do everything I committed to. I can spend time with my friends—albeit with some new rules in place. I can still have fun in this new normal. I have already started to with a few movie nights.
I am proud of what I have accomplished before my senior year, and I will work hard to make sure what I have done leaves an impact. I will make sure Her Campus is thriving when I leave. I will make sure that all my editing and writing for The Lamron will be the best it can be. I will put together two outstanding issues of Gandy Dancer. I will dance my heart out in OGX whenever I can. I will have my senior Creative Writing reading (hopefully in-person). Most importantly, I will still graduate even if I do not have a ceremony.
While things are different, I know that I can still leave my mark on Geneseo. I have been learning, perfecting my skills and performing activities that I love. I can only hope that when I leave, I have inspired other writers and editors to pursue their passion. Media and publishing may not have the numbers at Geneseo, but I can see that students pursuing these fields have the drive to go far. While this may not be the senior year I was hoping for, I am lucky I still have the chance to finish my college career strong.
These past few months have been difficult, but we are all experiencing this pandemic and its effects. All we can do is hope and figure out our new normal.