I put this article off for so long because I knew if I wrote this, I’d have to accept it’s truly the end: the end of my career as executive editor for the College World. The end of my presidential term in my sorority. The end of hanging out with my friends in Caine. The end of going to fraternity parties with friends. The end of so many amazing memories at Adrian College. The end of my senior year. And I wasn’t ready to do that, until today.
When the coronavirus pandemic first became a thing, I had no idea how it would impact me and my life. When the college continued to postpone classes, I was okay with it because I was still able to see my friends and hang out with them. I was able to maintain somewhat of a normal lifestyle, although I’ve discovered I really despise online classes. Then on Wednesday, March 25, I said goodbye to the place I’ve been able to call home for the last four years.
I couldn’t imagine another place to earn the education I have over the last four years. When I started at AC, I was one of the shyest people you would ever encounter. I wasn’t comfortable stepping out of my comfort zone before college, but then I joined the AC Marching Band. And that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I was able to make friends that will last a lifetime, I was able to make memories that I could look back on and smile when I was sad. I was able to know that I had a family away from home when I needed support. Every single member in the AC marching band made some impact on me and for them I will be forever grateful.
Upon joining the marching band my freshman year, I also became a member of Delta Nu Kappa. And again, that was another amazing decision I made. I connected with another group of people who always had my back. I became involved in a group that made me feel important and I love that about joining Greek Life. People say it’s a terrible group to be a part of, but I disagree. Joining Greek Life gave me the support I needed when I needed it most. I was able to have a family in my sorority, having littles to call my own. And I loved seeing them when I could, spoiling them when I could, and hanging out as a family. Every member in Delta Nu Kappa made some impact on me and for them I will be forever grateful to call them my sisters.
Since being back at home, I’ve had a tough time accepting this is how my senior year will end. I never fathomed in a million years that I would have to finish my final semester online, away from my friends. The coronavirus has taken so much more than lives. It’s taken away opportunities for seniors of high school and college. It’s taken my freedom, my time with my friends, my in-person schooling, and my final memories at Adrian College. Even though I’ve had my final semester taken away from me, my mom said something that really struck me. My mom said, “This is a really sucky way for your final semester to end, and Tess, even though it’s over, you have accomplished so much over your four years. You should be proud of your journey.”
And she’s right. Not because moms are always right, but because I was able to accomplish so much here at Adrian College. I was on the Dean’s List all four years. I joined a sorority, the marching band, and three academic honor societies. I was able to try acting, I was able to be a part of The Cornbread Crew (a radio show that I was really bad at because I was bad at trivia, but I still had fun). I became head editor for the newspaper and worked with such an amazing group of people who made print night bearable. I had the opportunity to do so many things and everything that made me who I am today, ended without a warning and because of that, my heart hurts.
Even though my senior year has come to a close, I’m still upset about it. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. I didn’t get the chance to thank my professors for an amazing four years. I didn’t get the chance to have my senior dinner with the English department. I didn’t get the chance to print my final edition of the College World. I didn’t get the chance to have my final band concert. I didn’t get a chance to go to stay out late and complain while my friends nagged me to stay out. I didn’t get a chance to hug my friends for the last time because I didn’t know it was going to be the last time.
I know I can call, text, FaceTime, and even Zoom my friends, but it’s not the same. I can’t have a late night pizza session in my apartment with Trey, Tyler, Blayk, and Sam anymore. I can’t walk over to CVS 318 and watch funny movies with Jordyn. I can’t walk over to ATO and have late night talks with the brothers. I can’t go out with Tara every Thursday night and hang out at the Brick Wall while singing karaoke. Now that I’ve been home, I’ve been going to church more, well, virtual church that is. One of the priests in my church said something in his homily last week and it’s another thing that has stuck with me. He said, “We need each other, we need to be family, there’s no camera that can replace that.”
He’s right. In this time, we need to be a family and be with one another. I’m finishing a huge milestone and I don’t have any of my friends to celebrate it with. I can’t have my normal commencement on May 3rd, take pictures with all my friends and family, and I can’t throw my green converse in the shoe tree like I imagined. This coronavirus has taken a lot of amazing times from me, and I will be forever sad about it, but I will always remember what amazing times I had at Adrian College. This semester may not have been another Bulldog victory, but you will always be a champion in my heart. Thank you for such an amazing four years, I will cherish them forever.