Senior Year: Covid Edition

Written by: Executive Editor Emma Harbaugh

It’s taken me yet another three years to get here. It’s the place we all talk about getting to. The people we yearn to be while in school. The top of the food chain. A senior

Senior year is a sacred time of traditions, final projects, and the end of a journey. When I walked the halls of Valade my freshman year I felt small. Unsure, excited, nervous, and I distinctly remember thinking to myself “I cannot wait to be a senior here.” I saw them walk by me. As a freshman you can always tell. They carry themselves with a sort of confidence, and an understanding of what’s going on around them. They have given the past three years of their lives to furthering their education, and senior year it finally becomes real that the outside world is sitting there, waiting to be joined by yet another graduating class. 

And now, here I am. It’s my senior year. Again. Growing up, I thought about getting my degree constantly. How exciting it would be to show the world that I had dedicated my time and energy to pursuing my passion to learn and bring that information to the world. Junior year here at Adrian College, with every passing day I got closer to this moment, the more my excitement grew. My last homecoming, last time visiting the Caf, my capstone project, the final moments with my sisters and friends. And now it’s here, and I don’t get any of it. 

I don’t like to complain. I especially don’t like to complain in writing. Putting my complaints down on paper makes them real and undeniable. I am missing out on my first semester of senior year. There’s no way of getting around it, the truth is that our country has still not recovered. Our safety and health are at stake, which definitely trumps my year of lasts. But sometimes it’s okay to acknowledge a loss, and that’s what I am doing here. I feel really thankful for the people I have around me and the things I am involved in, but wow, this is tough.

Classes starting face-to-face, moving online, and then back face-to-face was an adjustment for everyone. Learning how to be successful and stay organized while the semester has shifted so many times has been a challenge, and I think the common feeling of this semester is to simply roll with the punches. If you get too comfortable with your schedule it will change within the next couple of days and you have to re-adjust again. Adaptation. Survival. These are the default modes we are living day by day on.

Someday we’ll look back at this year in our lives and reflect. We will be thankful for putting our safety first, for sticking it out and finishing strong. But I will never get my last first semester back. My hope is that we never take these kinds of things for granted ever again, that the world softens and people will start treating each other with more kindness. I know I will never be the same because of this last year, and that maybe I will move through my life with more grace and be thankful for the things I get to do, surrounded by the people I love. Senior year still has a lot left in it, and maybe next semester we will finally be able to start celebrating.