The pandemic has taken loved ones away and torn families apart, and there I was grieving about the loss of my senior year.
Now, by all means, the Class of 2021 is fully entitled to their anger and frustration about the unfairness of it all. Coronavirus has stolen an entire year, not to mention our last, at Lehigh.
Normal student routines and traditions have been turned to Zoom-filled days. Our last Le-Laf experience as a student, not going to happen. No more late nights in FML. Goodbye, Rathbone brunches. And a sad farewell to everything else that made Lehigh normal to us in the past three years.
But after my initial grieving period and coming to terms with our situation, I realized there’s no point in dwelling, and in the grand scheme of things, my issues were inconsequential.
So, as this semester is coming to an end, I’ve decided to look back on my senior year so far and capitalize on the positive experiences I’ve had because it’s easy to dream about what could’ve been or what may never be, but it’s harder to come to terms with our reality.
Moving forward, our current situation has taught me to focus on the present and take it day by day in order to adapt to a future that has never been more uncertain.
In a pre-pandemic world, the thought of graduating was terrifying because it meant I was a real adult with a real job in the real world.
That still is the case, but rather than intensifying my fears, coronavirus has forced me to face the unknown and given me some pretty harsh lessons to navigate the real world.
We’ve all been forced to grow up faster than expected in such a short amount of time, and whether it’s online classes, self-monitoring, or self-isolation, the COVID world has taught me about independence and personal and social responsibility.
The unstructured days of our new college routines has pushed me to practice self-motivation, which was the key to remote learning.
And with all the extra time on my hands, I was able to focus on self-care to improve my mental and physical health. Outdoor walks and hikes have become routine, and for those who don’t know anything about me, any form of physical activity is not my forte.
Slightly random activities also became a way to pass time, but I finally learned how to play chess, brushed up on Latin, embroidered my jeans, read everything there is to know about notorious serial killers, and most importantly, spent quality time with my friends.
Involuntarily being confined in one house has only strengthened our friendships. Through quarantine and COVID scares, I’ve spent more time and shared more memories with my friends during my senior year than I ever would have without the pandemic. No doubt, when we’re old and gray, our senior year is one we’ll always remember.
So, I think we can all agree that 2020 sucked, but as the seniors move closer to graduation, I will be making the most of my last semester and cherishing my last moments at Lehigh, regardless of the coronavirus.