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Reflection on Freshman Year: Pandemic Edition

I wasn’t sure what to expect for my freshman year of college. I had never had to start from scratch at any point in my life. I always had a connection, someone to share a new experience with. But when I moved onto campus for the spring, I realized that this was the first time in my life where I had to completely start over.

I spent the fall of my freshman year at home. I was planning on moving in up until August of 2020 and then my roommate told me she would be staying home because all of her classes would be online. So, I had to decide whether I wanted to move to campus alone or stay home and work while doing my online classes. In hindsight, I think I made the right decision. I got a chance to save some money and wait until I was completely ready to be on my own.

The fall semester was a difficult one, though. I went through a really tough time with my mental health. I was grateful to be home with my family so they could help me through that time, but I couldn’t help but wonder how different the circumstances would have been if I had moved in without my roommate or if the pandemic wasn’t a factor. But we could wonder forever about things that have happened that we can’t change.

I struggled with my classes during fall semester too. Having my classes entirely online definitely impacted me. I didn’t get a chance to connect with my professors or my peers as much as I usually do. And I’m sure it was hard for everyone. I definitely wasn’t the only one struggling. It’s completely normal to struggle in a totally new situation (online learning). And if I could give advice to anyone, I would say that you should cut yourself some slack when put in a completely new situation.

And when I moved onto campus in the spring, I had some trouble making friends. It was another set of obstacles that I had never faced. Putting yourself out there takes a lot of courage and I definitely give myself credit for doing that. However, it can become discouraging after your efforts don’t seem to be getting you anywhere. Another piece of advice to anyone entering college: don’t give up. New situations and diving head-first into something you’ve never experienced before takes a lot of courage. And even though I’m still trying to find my footing here, I feel like I’ve gained some confidence and a perspective I’ve never had before.

Elementary Education Major at Monmouth University 18 she/her
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