A global pandemic. Only the beginning of the decade and we start with a global pandemic. Spring semester started with weekdays full of classes on campus and weekends full of parties and ended with staying at home for months and 6 feet apart from other people. The week before spring break, it was announced classes would be online for at least 2 weeks following the break, with many leaving their dorms untouched and preparing to come back after.
Little did we know, Friday the 13th would be the last normal day for the next few months. My freshman year, coming to an end with taking finals online. Seniors watching virtual graduations through a computer screen, only to see their name appear for a slight second. A disappointing end to the beginning of my college career.
As many students found, the transition to online classes was rough. Lectures that once had mandatory attendance soon were no longer being held, not even online. Courses where these lectures are vital, especially where the powerpoints and notes relied on it, became frustrating. With the stress of the pandemic itself, the extra stress from making sure our academics led to increased frustration and anxiety felt by students. A petition was created, pushing USF to provide the option for students to select the pass/fail grading option for their classes.
While this decision by university officials was crucial for many students, others looking to pursue further education after their undergrad were forced to keep their letter grades to comply with application requirements. As someone looking to attend medical school after receiving my Bachelor's, I was one of these students, and with the average GPA of students admitted to medical school being very high, it was critical that I kept my grades high.
Ending spring term was mournful, finishing online classes was relieving... until summer semester started after a week of freedom. Though the break between the two semesters was short, it was much needed.
As spring classes end and summer classes begin, little is known about what to expect for fall. Though Florida has moved to hold classes on campus across all public universities in the state, will it be the same as when we left? Or will classes be smaller, with students roaming campus in masks? Will football games and the traditional tailgates held before continue as normal? Will our beloved clubs open back up? Will our everyday lives ever be the same?
With this quarantine and pandemic will come change. Hopefully, everyone has taken this time to reflect on themselves and use it to find who they are and who they want to be. Set goals for your future, find something you're passionate about, learn something new. Don't let this opportunity to focus on yourself go to waste.