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How I’m Coping With My Senior Year Getting Cut Short

I pictured my senior year as the opportunity to spend time with all my friends before we parted ways. My friends and I planned to try all the local restaurants. I desired to explore nearby nature springs once the weather got warmer. I knew that most of my friends would graduate in May, and I would graduate in August – at the end of the summer semester. But all my hopes were quickly dashed once coronavirus caused all classes to move online, and UF instructed us to leave Gainesville.

Many of my friends posted sentimental posts on social media reflecting on their 3.75 years at college. But for me, things are a bit different. I had never experienced summer classes at UF and now never will. All classes for the remainder of spring and summer are moved online.

The spring commencement ceremony moved to August 1. Despite the ceremony’s postponement, some friends are unable to make it. Many students imagine walking across the stage at graduation and now they won’t be able to do it. My friends at other universities aren’t as lucky. Some of them had their graduations canceled with no postponed event. So, while a late spring graduation isn’t ideal, it’s the best we can have at this time.

I started to reflect on every mundane moment in Gainesville. From taking the bus to the grocery store, to getting to walk and study on campus every day, all those moments are taken from me as I may never get to experience them again.

One major takeaway I learned from this is that you never know what will happen in the future. If there is something you want to do and you have the capability to do it now, you should. I wish I took more initiative to see my friends this semester. At the same time, I got to try new things. I participated in Swamphacks, my first ever hackathon. I joined the Society for Women Engineers despite my seniority. And as a result, I met so many talented people that I’m still connected with.

We’re not the only ones affected. The coronavirus also impacts high school students’ experiences. My brother is a senior in high school. He’s sad that he will miss out on prom, and his graduation ceremony is canceled. It’s uncertain whether there will be a ceremony later on. I feel for my brother. I had a memorable final semester of high school, and now he will miss out on that. We both looked forward to 2020 as the year we both graduate. So much for 2020 vision, right? Because clearly, we didn’t see this coming.

These are rough times, but we will make it through this together. No one expected things to get so bad, and now everyone’s life is getting affected. But together we can be there to help and comfort each other. We can make it through. For now, we are taking comfort in the memes and doing our best to enjoy our time at home.

Niharika graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. She wrote for Her Campus UFL during her time at UF. She also wrote for Her Campus Leeds when she spent her junior year abroad at the University of Leeds in Leeds, England. She tried drinking tea when in England but is still a coffee person at heart. As a Colorado native, Niharika loves hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. In her spare time, she likes to explore her creativity through photography and drawing. 
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