Senior year is stressful with classes, extracurricular activities, homework and preparing for graduation. These are all paired with a progressive realization that I will have to get a job and start the next chapter of my life.
Fall 2020 is no exception. Leaves are not the only thing falling this semester. My mental state is in shambles. This semester is nowhere near what I could have predicted the three years prior.
COVID-19 has altered the normal college experience. All classes are online, virtual, hybrid or face-to-face. There are signs and arrows down every hall, and you must always wear a mask in all buildings.
Classes are small and students are socially distanced. Kyser Brick Way, Friedman Student Union and most places on campus have little to no people to be seen. The only time you see a plethora of students is five to ten minutes before and after classes.
COVID-19 was not the only surprise this fall. Hurricane Laura hit Louisiana as a category four hurricane and went from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to Monroe. It cancelled classes and put our semester on hold.
There was plenty of devastation, especially in Lake Charles. There were power outages, fallen trees and power lines, deaths and to top it off, the storm gave my professor’s dog a heart attack.
After all these stressful events, there is still two months until my graduation. I feel like time is flying, but I also feel like I’ve been in the same month for an eternity.
I have five classes, am a member of two organizations, and have two internships all while there is a world-wide pandemic in place. Work and stress should be my middle names.
Last semester, the Spring 2020 graduation was cancelled due to the virus. I fear the same fate awaits me and my fellow graduates. Only time and the Northwestern State University administration will tell whether graduation will happen.
In the end, I’m proud to be a first-generation college graduate and make my family proud of me.
My senior year of college is truly incomparable. I have no idea what is left to come except receiving my diploma. So please, Dr. Maggio, shake my hand and give me what I’ve paid for.