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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Western chapter.

If you’re a high school senior right now, my heart goes out to you. In the past months, you’ve probably thought countless times, this is not how I expected my senior year of high school to go. Ditto for those of us who are in first-year university. Last year, as a high school senior myself, I got one ordinary semester (which I am now very thankful for) and a semester defined by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. So, there are people out there that get what you’re going through. 

First off, as you might be submitting university applications or receiving early acceptances, you’re probably wondering what your first year of university is going to look like. With the current forecast on all things COVID-19, the first semester will most likely be virtual, and possibly the second semester as well. I know this is a disheartening thought. When it was announced that the first semester of the 2020/2021 university year was going to be online, many of my peers reconsidered their situation and whether they should go ahead and do first year online or take a year off. This decision is a personal thing and is entirely up to you, but I know some of the best advice I received was that you shouldn’t put your life on hold due to the pandemic. Come September, you’ll have the opportunity to complete a semester or entire year of university, and hopefully, by the end of that, you’ll be able to come out of the pandemic having been productive and accomplished something. 

Now, let’s talk about your senior year itself. Due to how secondary schools are currently operating in Ontario, you might be separated from the friends that you thought you would spend your senior year with. I feel that. On March 13, 2020, I left school for March Break, not knowing that I would never return and complete the rest of my senior year online. I didn’t get to say my goodbyes to friends and teachers. I had no prom or graduation ceremony. My senior class eventually got our yearbooks for the 2019-2020 school year in August, but we didn’t get the chance to sign each other’s. It can be difficult to come to terms with and accept all of these disappointments, but hopefully, in time, you’ll be able to do so.

The situation you’re in right now is tough. Hopefully, some of this advice and knowing that others understand what you’re going through will help take away some of your stress. 

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Holly is a fourth year English student at Western. She's an avid reader and loves a good iced chai-tea latte.
This is the contributor account for Her Campus Western.