5 Things I Learned This Semester

This past semester was definitely different from an average Spring Semester. Coming back from a semester abroad, I was super excited to be back on campus. I was looking forward to eating at the pub, hearing the chapel bells chime, studying in ODY, and most importantly seeing my friends. However, our lives were turned upside down when we were sent home for spring break unable to return. Suddenly, my dreams of being on campus that I longed for when I was abroad were taken away abruptly. However, my time spent at home has taught me more about myself and the world than I could have ever learned in a classroom. Here are five things I learned this semester, outside of the classroom.

  1. 1. Walks Are Fun!

    Before quarantine, I wouldn’t have been caught dead going for a walk for fun. But now, walks are the highlight of my day. It is the best way to get outside and get moving. It is often the only way I can see my friends, even if we are staying six feet apart. I have explored more places and spent more time outdoors than I ever have before. It is really important to immerse yourself in nature and stop to smell the roses every now and then. Even if it is not every day, I will definitely keep up my routine of going for walks after quarantine in order to remember how beautiful nature is and how important it is to experience it with others.

  2. 2. Never Take a Moment for Granted!

    After my life completely changed in the blink of an eye, I have learned to appreciate the value of living in the moment. You never know when something will change or be taken away from you, so it is important to live every moment to the fullest. Make the best of each moment because one day you will wish you could go back to those special moments.

  3. 3. Washing Your Hands Is Important!

    Before the pandemic, the only time I would really wash my hands was before a meal or after using the restroom. However, now I have learned how important it is to wash your hands. You never know what germs are lurking around on the surfaces you touch. It may be the pandemic talking, but I suddenly feel gross when I have not recently washed my hands. Don’t take for granted the simple task of washing your hands, because it could possibly save your life, or at least save you from a nasty cold.

  4. 4. Family Movie Nights Are The Best Nights

    After watching pretty much every show and movie on Netflix, I suddenly find myself excited when my dad proposes a family movie night. These nights are special because my entire family comes out of their rooms and we all get to spend the night laughing at a comedy or crying over a drama. I have a new appreciation for my dad turning off all the lights in the family room to “go movie style” and for the microwave popcorn, my sister makes for us. Family movie nights will forever have a new cherishable meaning.

  5. 5. Enjoy the Little Things

    It is important to notice the small things in life that make you happy. I have a new appreciation for laughing at a joke my friend makes or deciding whether to order mint chocolate chip ice cream or oreo ice cream. The little things that I do not always notice are actually a huge part of my life. These little things add up to make happy memories, and I have a new appreciation for the small things I cannot wait to get back after the pandemic dissipates.

While this semester did not turn out the way I had hoped, I learned countless lessons that I will hold onto for the rest of my life. As we head into finals week, reflect on the things you’ve learned this semester aside from your curriculum. While COVID-19 will soon pass, we will all keep with us a new appreciation for friends, family, and the outside world.