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To my professors who may read this, I am so sorry, but I must get this off my chest. 

Finals in a pandemic? Who in their right, educated mind thought this as a concept made sense? As a student with many other student friends, I can tell you maybe a fraction of what we have accomplished this year, in terms of assignments and tests, has been retained in our minds.

If you were to ask me what I remember from the start of this semester to now, I would disappoint us all. Luckily for me, I am not in a health or heavily factual-based major, but I feel for my friends and myself when I say I can only remember the gist. I remember more about the struggle to submit assignments and trying to stay healthy in a time where it is a necessity than the exact plotline to the hundreds of stories I had to read this semester. 

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The tough part was that I wanted to learn. Gosh darn it, I love to learn. I love being an English major, and I have always appreciated the effort my professors have put into their curriculum as I always found it interesting and purposeful. But these past two years have been an absolute nightmare. I don't think online schooling was supposed to be something we ever got used to, but in the second year of its application, our instructors don't have the same sympathies as they did the first month of Zoom college.

I get it. The training wheels were bound to come off eventually, and of course, the show had to go on (otherwise, college would have had no purpose at all), but what I feel seems to have gotten lost in all the commotion is that we are still in a pandemic.

Perhaps because so many of us were acting as though that was not the reality, our professors felt they could move forward, but I and others I know were definitely left behind—in the times of pre-Corona. All this is to say, I feel as though very little was done by college faculty to support students at this time, so to add finals on top of what 2020-2021 students have had to endure already has been a nightmare I haven't yet woken up from.  

I hesitate to say I look forward to in-person classes. I hesitate because, speaking for myself, these past two years have crippled me in a way that feels too embarrassing to say out loud. I do have hope, though, after the awkward "getting situated" first week or so back, that things will begin to feel natural (like retraining a muscle). I guess just where I am at now, that it's difficult to actually believe that this will be that easy. I don't know. And I feel a lot of us don't know what to expect going back, but I guess the bright side of this all is that we are all experiencing this together. 

Niya Ahmed is currently in junior year of college at VCU and hopes to graduate with a bachelors degree in English and a minor in creative writing, at least for now. She is a advocate of furthering her education as well as the education of her peers. She enjoys all things media such as movies, social media apps and music. On any given day you can find her with her headphones in or a book in her hand. Niya has been writing for all her life although it is recently she has began to publish publicly. To find more of Niya follow her Instagram: niyaahmed22 or on Twitter: niya_ahmed18
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