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How It Feels to be a Senior and a Transfer During the Pandemic

The day that the UCLA chancellor announced that all spring quarter classes would be held online due to the new Coronavirus, I was overcome with a range of emotions that I was unsure how to process. As a transfer student, I only have two short years to establish myself academically and to complete my undergraduate career. It was a complicated feeling to know that my time on campus would now be even shorter, especially considering that I had never even thought I would be finishing my senior year anywhere but on campus.

In fact, this last quarter had been something that I was looking forward to for a long while. My time at UCLA has seen ups and downs, but after falling in love with my musicology minor, I felt invigorated and excited about school in a way that I had not before. I decided that I would complete my difficult major classes early, and my last quarter would be filled with fun and enjoyable musicology courses. Admittedly, finding out that these classes would be online initially made me a little sad and nervous. I really wanted to take these classes in person, and on top of that, I had never taken an online class at UCLA. I was not sure what that entailed or how it would affect my work ethic. After all, I had finally found my study groove, and that entailed working in the music library or reading under a tree on campus.

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Nevertheless, even though the situation was not what I had imagined, I still had to consider the bigger picture. The decision for remote classes was not by any means made to sabotage my or anyone’s senior year; it was made in the interest of safety and global health. It facilitates social distancing, an important and necessary practice for those to participate in if they can.

I have the privilege to attend UCLA and school in general, and I am grateful that I can simultaneously quarantine and continue my classes to earn the degree that I have and am diligently working so hard for. I am even more grateful that at the very least, I am not taking classes that I am disinterested in. That could be especially painful in an online setting. I am currently enrolled in incredible musicology courses with fantastic professors and TAs that I have previously taken. I know their class structure, and I am looking forward to learning more from these educators that I look up to. Overall, I am in an ideal situation that I am thankful for.

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However, it is important to note that no matter what, the current state of the world is scary and unpredictable. I cannot deny any feelings that may come from its uncertainty or from the decisions that are made from that uncertainty. My feelings and anyone else’s are valid. Of course, it is a little hard to hear that I will not be able to take the senior pictures that I had planned on. It is also a little hard to know that I will not be able to perform in my last orchestral concert at UCLA. It is even harder to know that I do not get to walk in my own graduation in June. These are all milestones that I was eagerly anticipating, and it is okay to be upset about them not happening as initially thought to be.

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No matter what, it is imperative to validate your own feelings, especially at a time like this. Processing our emotions in a frightening world helps keeps us all empathetic and human. It is okay to be grateful of your situation, and it is also okay to, at the same time, be saddened by what is happening around us.

I recently read a tweet from @UntoNuggan that read, “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you’re allowed to be disappointed about something being cancelled or delayed because of the pandemic. You can know intellectually that social distancing is more important right now, and still be sad about missing things.” I think that sums it up pretty well.