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I most certainly did not have the college experience I thought I would. I had one normal semester, the fall of 2019, before the pandemic hit the following spring. Even during that ‘normal’ semester, I absolutely hated my major and questioned everything. Still, I learned so much about myself in those few months. It was some of the best, most exciting times of my life, and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. 

The next thing I knew, the pandemic hit. I vividly remember sitting outside my dorm building, talking to my mom, and saying, “Did you hear about that virus going around?” *LOL* We were all pumped for an extra week of spring break; I couldn’t have imagined that I’d leave college as a freshman and return as a junior—that most definitely was not on my 2020 bingo card. 

Eventually, I also found out I’d be graduating early, which further catapulted me into fear and anxiety about not being ready for the real world. I mean, no one’s ever ready, but college is really the place you transition, and I felt like that opportunity was taken from me. Of course, there were silver linings, especially being able to spend so much time with my nephew and watch him grow up, but I won’t act like it isn’t a bummer to have missed out on those college years that I had romanticized in my head for so long.

Now, I could sit here and complain forever about how I was robbed, but I will not do that. UT-Austin took from me just as much as it gave me: a beautiful campus that I’ll miss dearly, an awesome roomie, great friends that introduced me to my boyfriend, crazy experiences like Harry Styles and Jimmy Fallon on campus, and BEVO.

Oh, and Her Campus! I really can’t describe the impact this organization has had on me—my confidence, writing, and leadership capabilities have developed and flourished so much here, and I’ll be forever grateful. The amazing women I’ve met will continue to crush it and change the world; I couldn’t be more excited to see the paths they’ll go on to forge.

It may have been an unconventional 3.5 years, but it was mine, and I am who I am because of the experience I had. I don’t have everything figured out—I probably never will—but I’m excited to move forward and see what comes next.

XOXO & Signing Off,

Rachel, HCTX Secretary and Standards Director

Hello! I'm currently studying Advertising at the University of Texas at Austin. In my free time, I'm constantly baking, listening to true crime podcasts, and spending time with my family. Connect with me on IG: www.instagram.com/unorachel