Editor’s Note | First day of class marks milestone for senior students

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By Sydney Wood, buzz Editor

It seems as though change happens gradually and then all at once. 

Fall semester at the University kicked off on Monday and for some students, it marked their first day of classes as college students. For myself and other members of the class of 2023, Monday signaled the beginning of the end. 

I remember my first day as a freshman vividly. I walked into my 11 a.m. Intermediate French II class in Noyes Laboratory, only to be greeted by a professor who planned to teach us exclusively in French. Needless to say, I dropped the class, opting to take a lower-level one instead. 

As a freshman college, seemed insurmountable to me, especially as I entered my first semester. Now, as a senior entering my second-to-last semester at the University, the prospect of graduating is bittersweet. 

One of my all-time favorite songs is Dr. Dog’s 2010 tune, “Where’d All The Time Go?” As I reflect on my college career and look toward my anticipated graduation date this spring, Dr. Dog’s lyrics ring poignantly true. 

Freshman year was weird; it was hard to keep up with everything happening around me. Like many of my peers, I was adjusting to the academic demand of my courses, learning how to navigate campus and meeting new people. By the time I felt like a “real” college student, COVID-19 had hit, and I was suddenly sent back to my hometown. 

But if you asked me in high school what I thought I’d be doing during my sophomore year of college, none of my answers would’ve reflected how I actually spent those two semesters – cooped up in my apartment, taking 17 credits of fully online classes during a pandemic. It wasn’t all bad though, and weirdly enough, I sometimes look back on the moments that I spent with my roommate with fondness. 

Junior year was a stark contrast to my previous experiences as an underclassman. In-person classes came back to a majority of courses at the University, and I entered the fall semester with new friends that I hadn’t met my freshman year. Although I appreciated the physical aspect of attending class, I still felt as if COVID-19 loomed over the University like a dark shadow, and I worried that all our progress in combating the virus would be lost. 

Looking back at my time as a college student, my freshman year feels most comparable to my first semester as a senior. Although I still wear a mask, it’s nice to see my classmates’ faces, which wasn’t common last year due to the mask requirement. 

I hope to spend the entirety of my senior year in in-person classes. I had a few online classes last year, so it’ll be my first fully in-person year. 

It’s as if my college career can be split into four distinct categories: life before the pandemic, quarantining during the shutdown, learning how to create a “new” normal within COVID-19’s shadow and living with this new normal.  

For me, college has felt both gradual and fast-paced. 

On one hand, I feel as if I’ve spent an incomprehensible amount of time at the University. On the other hand, it’s difficult to acknowledge how quickly time has gone by or even how much I’ve changed since I began my first semester in the fall of 2019.   

If my time in college has taught me anything, it’s that change can be hard, but it’s usually for the best. Sometimes it happens gradually and sometimes it doesn’t, but it always works out in the end. 

 

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