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It still continues to amaze me how the pandemic began in the middle of my senior year in high school, and now I’m just about to finish my first year of college at UC Riverside. Although online school and college were definitely not what I expected, I’d like to think that I learned a lot this past year. 

Woman sitting on bed with laptop
Photo by Charles Deluvio from Unsplash

Since we high school seniors weren’t able to get proper graduation or prom, I started my fall quarter at UCR in low spirits. Since this entire year was completely online, I didn’t expect to gain anything from it. In addition, I was living at home, so I knew that I wouldn’t have the ‘first-year experience’ many college students often raved about. One of my major worries, though, is not being able to make friends. I’m naturally an introverted person, who couldn’t make that many friends in person when I was in high school, so a part of me wondered if I’d make it through my first year without meeting someone new. 

These worries had piled on top of each other and pushed down on me as if it signified impending doom. But what I failed to realize was that my fellow classmates were in the same place as me. They were frustrated over losing their senior year and anxious about the new college environment that had been moved online. 


two people sitting on stairs looking at a laptop
Photo by Charlotte May from Pexels

Before I knew it, I was making friends at UCR, bonding over light-hearted jokes about our lack of high school graduation or our favorite TV shows. As cheesy as it sounds, we realized we were all in this together and we had to help each other out in the best way possible. 

And now that it’s the beginning of June, I’m starting to realize that online college wasn’t all that bad. Not only was I able to make friends, but I was also able to binge-watch a lot of shows on Netflix and Hulu. The best of both worlds, I guess? 


Photo of a television displaying a netflix screen
Photo by John-Mark Smith from Pexels

Anyway, although I can start to feel that same anxiety return now that I’ll be on campus this fall, I know that I’ll be able to handle it because of how much I’ve grown in the past year and a half. Part of that anxiety is coupled with excitement, too–especially since I’ll be meeting my Her Campus galpals in person instead of through my laptop screen. So fall quarter 2021, bring it on!

Angelin Simon

UC Riverside '24

Angelin is currently pursuing a B.S. in Neuroscience at UC Riverside. In her free time, she enjoys taking long naps, stargazing, and painting.
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