Junior Year of College from Home

Sitting here in my bed where I have spent a year of my college career doing work is crazy to think about. As I finish my spring semester, eager to get to summer and relieved that things are looking up for us all, I look back on how it all went. Mentally draining is only one way to put it.

“Zoom” was probably the most used word the entire year. Having to take an exam at a desk that doesn’t smell like school but instead a vanilla scented Bath and Body Works candle can be difficult when trying to focus (as pretty as it smells). Your mind is always on other things, for me it’s “What’s mom cooking downstairs?” or “Did I unplug my straightener?” and I could easily get up from my chair and forget I was in a class online. The struggle to find motivation while working at home is tough I know we all say it and experienced it. I would try to make it as fun as I could for myself but I gave up quickly because the thought of doing more work than I was expected stressed me out for once. I never had a problem with my work ethic until quarantine. The words “Take it easy” or “Have a day to relax” were never in my vocabulary because I’ve always been an on the go, full agenda, gal so when we all had no other choice but to essentially “do nothing” I was in panic mode.

Fall Semester wasn’t all that bad academically considering I had two classes that were taught in hybrid mode so I still had my “normal” class days to look forward to on those days. I would make the most of it by getting their early to make sure my laptop was ready to go, reviewed the chapter of notes in my textbook, and sip my iced coffee while sitting in an actual classroom. I felt like I had purpose on those days with sharper focus than I would have in my bedroom at home. Trying to work on team projects at home and not wanting to talk over someone is harder to accomplish than in person and I learned that quickly. Work and assignments were not terrible but not great considering these classes still had online portions as well as my other classes being completely asynchronous. The crispy fall weather seemed to keep me company but the daylight getting cut short at 4pm definitely didn’t help. As for cheer, having to do tryouts virtually was definitely something I don’t wish to do again. Seeing my friends through small boxes on my macbook instead of together in person wasn’t a great feeling but we pushed through (and I somehow was able to remember the entire section of routine we learned *pats myself on the back*). Just when we thought we might have a chance to practice in person, we were shut down so back to zoom we went. We were hopeful for another great season of basketball games on the sidelines together but unfortunately that wasn’t going to happen either. Of course we were all devastated but we knew the health and safety of us and those around us were more important. Watching games from home was still a lot of fun but I’m ready to be back for more crowd roaring winning games and doing what I love.

I kept myself busy over the very long and very nice winter break with winter classes to stay on top of my status to graduate on time. This definitely helped me stay focused and busy while still having some down time to do what I wanted. I also applied for a job at school and now I am the Marketing Coordinator for CSA at my school and it is so much fun! With not having a lot of real life exposure to my major, this was a great stepping stone to find out how good of a marketer I am and what I can improve on with what I have learned. It’s been so much fun so far and I can’t wait for what the fall will bring.

Closing in on Spring semester now and it went by in a blink of an eye it feels like. This has been a very challenging semester but we made it work. Fun events at school made my marketing job super exciting. Being pushed to all online for all classes was not super exciting however but we made the best of it even with my “What’s mom cooking?” and “Did I turn off my straightener?” types of questions still crossing my mind while listening to my lectures. Waking up ten minutes before class to make an iced coffee then log into zoom was fun for a bit but I can’t wait to be back in a classroom with in person instruction and wearing actual clothes instead of pajamas. I have learned a lot about myself this academic year and I don’t think I’d want to change it. I now know what I need to work on to be that self motivated person I used to be before and I now know that it’s okay to take it day by day to make sure you “have your head right.”

A lot is in store for me this summer and I can’t wait. Will I need to show my vaccine card AND id for my 21st birthday in July? Either way I am prepared….hot (and vaxxed) girl summer in full swing, watch out!

I’ve thought “how would life be if covid wasn’t around?” too many times. What would my life look like, did it change at all? What if I perfected my tuck toss at practice or mastered a new skill? Would I have done as well as I did online if the courses were in person? Would I still have interviewed for that job position even though cheer takes a lot of time out of my schedule and school comes first? Would I still be working at my old job? Would I still be the same person I was a year ago? It’s been a weird and unforgettable year for sure but here’s to a new normal 🙂

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