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This year has been weird for all of us, to say the least. This was our first year of this whole college thing. Let’s all take a trip down memory lane together and recap some highlights of freshman year.

In August, we were just moving into our dorms or apartments. Classes started, and a lot of us didn’t know very many of the people we were surrounded by on campus. We met a few people who seemed nice, and went to student org fairs to see if there were any clubs we wanted to join. By the time September rolled around, we were starting to get more familiar with our new campus. Many of us had either been home to visit our parents, or they had come to visit us. We’d made a few new friends, and joined a club or Greek Life.

October, November, and December brought us holidays, which seemed to be more important to us than they used to be since we were getting to see our families after not seeing them for a while. We got closer with our friends, more involved in our extracurriculars, and probably stressed about a grade that wasn’t as high as we thought it would be. Then came finals week, and stress was at an all-time high. We were ready for a long break and to go back and see our families.

Throughout winter break, it was nice to see our families and some of our friends from high school. It felt strange being back in our hometowns. It felt like we were living two separate lives. Some of us missed our school, and some of us never wanted winter break to end.

It did end, though, and we came back again in January. Whether it be to the same school or a new one, it was a fresh start. A new semester with new classes, new opportunities, and new friends. It was hard to get back into the swing of things after having almost a month off, and some of us were missing our parents or feeling homesick like how we did back in August.

But we kept going to class and hanging out with our friends, trying to make the most out of every opportunity that was thrown our way. Some people we knew during fall semester started to drift out of lives, but we met some more great people during the spring semester.

Around spring break, however, our lives were kind of flipped upside down. Some of us had to cancel our spring break trips, or if we still ended up going, we had to quarantine when we came back. The COVID-19 pandemic was taking a toll on our country. We were told we’d have an extra week of spring break, but it eventually turned into online class for the rest of the semester.

We had to move out of our dorms and say goodbye to the friends we’d met. We had to move back in with our parents – something that we were longing for when we felt homesick back in August, but now we didn’t feel as excited. We left our schools, our freshman year feeling very unfinished.

But we did it. We made it to the end. It’s been a very strange year to say the least. For some of us, it’s been the best year of our lives and for others, not so much. Regardless, we all have our first year of college under our belt. We’ve gone through a lot of growth this year and we should all be proud of ourselves for who we’re becoming and for sticking it out this far through all the weirdness.

Here’s to the class of 2023!

Rachel is a junior at Youngstown State University, majoring in Business Administration. In addition to being one of the Campus Correspondents for her school's Her Campus chapter, she is a sister of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and a Campus Trendsetter. She loves writing, hanging out with friends and family, and Star Wars. She hopes to one day manage a large resort somewhere tropical (or at Disney World!).
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