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About one year ago today I was on my fifteen minute break from work when suddenly mine and everyone else’s phones went off in the Akers cafeteria. When I looked, it told me that in-school classes were being cancelled until further notice. At the time, I was so excited that I did not have to race to my last class of the day from work like I usually do, but now looking back, I only wish I could be in ANY in-person classroom.

Spring Semester (2020)

Starting back in March of last year, nothing was that terrible. There was some adjusting for me personally and I had one professor that REFUSED to post the lecture or the slides, but overall, I wasn’t struggling any more than I usually do. Something that did hurt and I hadn’t thought of was extracurricular activities. In my winterline group and dance club, we were reaching the end of our seasons. Things were finally coming together and I had my last recital and world finals coming up. Due to quarantine, it was all cancelled. It really hurt because all that money and effort felt like it went down the drain, but at the same time I got over it because everyone’s health and safety was way more important than an extracurricular.

Fall Semester (2020)

Quick summer recap: I only took one class over the summer and it was at another institution. Nothing special about it. I also lost my job but I wasn’t too upset about it because I hated it anyways. Anyways, let’s move on to my hot mess of a school year.

So over the summer I decided I wanted to add second major, along with my additional major. Because of this, I have to take as many credits as possible every semester. For the fall I was taking a total of 18 credits between five classes. Workload wise it honestly wasn’t that bad but it may have been different if it was in person. As for the online aspect, let me tell you, I fell apart. While three out of my five classes had zoom classes, only one of them required attendance and the others all posted the lectures online. Because of that, I had no motivation to show up to class. And when I did, they never required cameras so I would often be doing other things and not paying attention. As for notes and studying, many of my classes do not have exams so I never have to carve out any study time. At the beginning of the semester I was keeping up and taking notes for every class, but this eventually grew very tiresome for me. Since I would take notes with lecture videos, I would pause whenever I needed and because of this it took me twice as long as usual to take notes. In a normal lecture setting, I was forced to take my notes as fast as possible because I wouldn’t see the lecture again (and I am extremely forgetful and do not retain information well; notes are essential for me), but now I could take my time. Heck, I could even take days. It did not help me at all because eventually my patience wore thin and I just went to the lecture video and clicked around to find what I needed. In terms of assignments, because I had fewer classes and some structure it was not terrible. I still turned my assignments in on time but usually on the day of (although I did this before online school too). Last thing I want to hit on is clubs. I was in a dance club last year and I tried to keep up with it but couldn’t. I personally do not have the room for it and without the point system or any type of recital, I had no motivation to go. I tried to join an honors frat as well and it did not go well. While it was not the worst experience, I felt like I didn’t get the opportunity to know people as well. Along with that, there were multiple times we went into breakout rooms and no one, not even the members would speak. In general, the fall semester was 6/10 for me. It could have been waaaaay worse, but I also did not do as well as I wanted.

Spring Semester (2021)

Many of my issues from fall semester followed me to this new year. I took almost no notesbecause I was already burned out. Along with that, I do not think I turned in a single assignment early. In fact, all of my assignments got turned in minutes before they were due. To make that worse, I got to the point where I was turning in assignments late or not even at all. BUT TO BE FAIR –  the careers I want to go into do not care about GPA, so I was not going to stress myself out even more over a simple quiz or an entire class that has NOTHING to do with my major. Oh and I forgot to mention, I’m taking 18 credits between seven classes. And what really made me fall apart was that fact that they were all asynchronous. While I am someone that cannot stick to a schedule I try to make (for example, if I write out what I need to do in the day, I will never do a single thing on that list), having some type of schedule or structure (with in person classes, clubs, job, etc.) helps keep my life together. Because they’re things I paid for and made a commitment to do, I feel a huge amount of pressure to go (most of the time). But in reality, it made it really hard for me. My mental health has taken a severe toll due to this. 

Now after reading all that you’re probably thinking to yourself, “oh she wouldn’t try and join any clubs after all that stress,” and that’s where you’re wrong. You see, I actually have a bad pattern of trying to commit to way more than I can handle, which is why I’m writing this paper past its due date (sorry Jessie). Will I ever learn? Probably not. But back to clubs. As for dance club, it just wasn’t worth it to me so I gave up on it. I love the group, but I only want to participate in person, so if it is in person next school year, I will be there! I also tried to join a multi-cultural sorority and it went better than the honors frat at first but quickly went downhill. Towards the end of rush and especially during my interview I could tell they didn’t want me. And after a rejection call, it really put the nail in the coffin with Greek Life for me. But I did successfully join a club that I plan on staying in and have been enjoying so far. That would be Hercampus. While I haven’t met too many people or made friends from it, I enjoy writing about things I feel like I have no one else to talk to about. It is definitely an outlet for me and I can’t wait to write more articles in the future! Overall though, trying to join clubs through the internet has not been a good experience for me.

Final Words

Overall, this year has not been great for me. School became even more stressful, I still have made almost no friends in my two years here, and my mental health has taken a turn for the worst. But even with all that being said, some positives have come from this. I’ve finally found my fashion/makeup style that makes ME happy, I’ve become way more educated on a slew of issues, and while I haven’t figured out exactly what I am, I realized that guys are not the only type of people I like. Overall, if you read my messy rant of a school year, I applaud you and hope you were able to relate to any of my experiences.

 

Mandy Wardrop is a sophomore studying Creative Advertising, Video Games & Interactive Media, and Political Science. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, doing her makeup, and watching Youtube. She hopes in the future to become a narrative writer for a video game studio.
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