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Well, this is it. So long, Monmouth … I barely knew you. My last two years of college were not supposed to occur the way they did, but it’s alright. I just hope I’ll have a better professional life than I did in school.

After studying full-time at community college while working, I didn’t get to enjoy my first two years of college. My days revolved around going to class, working for 4-8 hours, then completing copious amounts of homework. Fortunately, all my hard work paid off and, once I graduated two years later, I was on my way to Monmouth University. A fresh start, a chance for me to understand that college experience everyone speaks so highly of.

My first semester was rough – I wasn’t adjusting well, and I couldn’t find anyone willing to be friends with me. It was really hard, and at times I felt like I didn’t belong. However, I pushed through, solely focusing on my studies and picking up an extracurricular activity as a contributing writer for The Outlook. That was a great gig, and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity I received.

Now comes my second semester: Spring 2020. I was excited for yet another chance to meet people, adapt to the Monmouth environment, and hopefully, figure out my future a bit more. Things were going pretty well; I was speaking more in class, I was doing well with The Outlook, and I was on my way to finding a summer internship. One week later, the entire world shut down. From then on, my college experience has been confined to my bedroom.

So much for enjoying what are supposed to be the best years of your life …

Honestly, I think this pandemic has helped me in more ways than I ever expected. For one thing, I joined more extracurricular activities. I became a NASPA Peer Certified Educator, a Transfer Hawks Student Mentor, began writing for Monmouth’s Her Campus and was accepted by several honor societies. I took this time to really analyze myself, working harder than I ever have before. Not to mention, I also became more vocal in class and built strong connections with professors, which is something I never imagined. If you knew me before this pandemic, you’d know I never said a word in class, only sitting at my desk listening intently and writing down notes.

The fall semester was my most challenging semester ever – five upper-level English courses. Looking back, I don’t know how I survived, but I did. Bonus: I made Dean’s List! I’m so incredibly proud of myself for all the dedication and persistence I maintained during that awfully stressful term.

Spring 2021. My last semester of undergrad. Boy, has it been a ride! Though I only took four classes, they were tough to handle. While studying full-time, I was also enrolled in my Experiential Education, completing an internship as a film critic. On top of that, I still wrote for Her Campus, became Vice President of Tau Sigma Honor Society, and worked part-time as a Writing Assistant for Monmouth’s Writing Services. At times, I felt I spread myself too thin, but it was all worth it to gain more experience and finish my college career strong.

Since I never got to experience college on-campus, I spent most of my time zoning in on my studies and getting as involved as I could under the circumstances. I would’ve loved to understand the classic college involvement, but I think mine is unique. It’s out of the ordinary, and I think that makes it better.

I’m ready to close this ~virtual~ chapter in my life and begin a new one relatively soon. I am so excited to launch my career and enter the workforce – this is what it’s all for.

Monmouth, I wish I were more familiar with you, but things don’t always work in our favor. Anyways, thank you for a demanding yet thrilling one semester. I’ll never forget it.

Class of 2021, we are out.

Allison is 21 years old and currently a senior at Monmouth University. She is an English major and hopes to enter a career in digital content writing or social media marketing. She loves all things pop culture - tv shows, movies, music, beauty, and more!
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