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Back on Campus: Here’s What’s Changed and What Hasn’t

It’s the start of a new chapter in our college experience. We are finally back on campus after over a year in quarantine! Sometimes though, I question if I want this new chapter to be just like it was pre-COVID or something completely different. 

Of course, being back on campus and seeing familiar faces after such a long time is amazing. It’s made me realize how much I missed being on campus, and I am excited to make even more memories. However, some part of me is honestly hesitant to experience something new, especially after quarantine. I think this hesitancy comes from knowing that I am not the same person that I was before COVID-19 hit, and learning to adapt back on campus while being the newer version of myself will take time, patience, and strength to get past my worries about what the current chapter of my college experience has in store for me. 

It would be great if everything was just like how it was before COVID hit, but if everything stayed the same, it wouldn’t help me go through new experiences in the future that could help me grow even more than I already have in the past year. In my opinion, accepting and working alongside this new phase can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful, but we have to embrace the change to make the best out of our college experience. 

I have this feeling that many of us are feeling a similar way about this new phase in our lives, and I felt like it was necessary to be honest about how I am feeling at the moment. It’s okay for things to not turn out the way that we hoped or that it’s taking a little longer to get to that point. If it’s tough right now, it eventually will get better. Self-compassion and self-acceptance should be prioritized when things are a bit weird to figure out. 

If you need to take the time to rebuild your social battery or that you need to get used to taking in-person classes again, that’s okay. If you feel like you need to be alone more often than usual and take things a bit slower, that’s totally fine as well. I don’t want people to be hard on themselves because things are not going the way they expected. However, after you grow from the change, I believe your college experience will be even better than what you expected it to be. Remember to take it step by step, and be kind to yourself throughout the process

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Sapna Parihar

U Mass Amherst '23

Sapna is a member of the University of Massachusetts Amherst chapter from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Psychology. Sapna is excited to continue writing about wellness and anything else that revolves around her passions. Her interests include dancing, crocheting, listening to R&B and Pop, and reading self-help books.
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