Senior year of college is bittersweet for everyone. For a lot of seniors this year, myself included, there is a few other emotions packed in there.
The "Last First Day of School" for many of us looks a little different. I still took my yearly photo in front of a tree (like I've been doing since Kindergarten.) This year though, I took one with my mask and face shield on because that is how I will look walking onto campus. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to arrange my classes so I only have to go to one hour long class on campus every week this semester. I know others who are not as lucky, and despite concerns have to attend on campus classes of around 30 students (or more) several days a week. Colleges are making us sign social contracts, fill out daily assessments, and wear masks. There will be no big Homecoming celebrations or going to lunches off campus with groups of our friends.
Senior year will consist of waving hi to friends from across the walkway and having video call study groups. Most of campus is still working remotely, so many of us may not get to say goodbye to our favorite professors, staff, or advisors in person. Since the pandemic will likely still be rearing its' head still during Spring Semester, we will be another class who has a virtual commencement and Zoom graduation parties.
It is a very bittersweet day, going in with that knowledge.
But there are some positives. Those of us with online classes don't have to pay outrageous prices for parking passes. We will save money not having lunch on campus a few days a week or grabbing coffee between classes. We will not spend a long commute in traffic, wasting hours of our day. With all the time and money we are saving there, we can pickup a hobby, study more, join a club that is meeting virtually, or just have more time for ourselves. We can take the money we would spend going to parties or hosting a graduation party and put it into savings or towards a little gift for ourselves, as a congratulations for making it.
So even though we won't necessarily go out with the "bang" we were hoping for, we can still make the best of Senior year!
So here's to the Class of 2021, we are nothing if not dedicated!