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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Senior year, during a pandemic: reflections


I never thought I would be writing an article about my last semester of college as the opinions editor of a newspaper, from my bedroom at my parents’ home, in the middle of a pandemic. Nonetheless, here we are.

Absolutely nothing about my senior year has been what most Loyola students look back on, nor has it been what any underclassmen looks forward to. I spent all of last semester at home (and am currently doing the same for another 4 months), I started applying for a graduate degree in philosophy, and I now own more reusable face masks than anything else. 

Somehow, this is alright with me.

I’ve had to make peace with a lot of this— the plans I made to hang out with friends, the classes and professors I had been so excited to take in-person, and all of the things that made Loyola my home aren’t available to me anymore. All of this changed, so I too had to change how I connected with the Loyola community. As a senior both looking back and looking ahead, here is how I am making the most out of my last few months as a Greyhound.

One of the most important things I did was stick with my extracurricular activities. I can’t express in words how nice it is to just log onto a Zoom call with people who study different things and live in different places, talk about your day and sing, or how nice it is to wake up to someone sharing a funny a cappella TikTok in your group chats. It’s exciting, it’s different from my classes, and it’s all fun. I love reading articles and communicating with my peers, and these things help me stay connected to the things I love on campus.

I also communicated closely with my professors, partially because of grad school applications and capstone projects, but also because of the positive relationships I built on campus which have followed me into my senior year. The professors that know me well also seek more interaction over Zoom— this year has been difficult for them, as well, in terms of their ability to connect in the classroom. Most of my classes involve plenty of jokes about philosophers, fun activities online, and our best attempts to laugh and smile through the camera. Stay engaged, stay focused, and stay with it all— these classes are different than normal, but the more effort we can put into them, the more we will be able to receive.

Something else I love to do is to set up Zoom meetings with my friends from Loyola. I have gone on a few Zoom “dinner dates” with my friends, and this Halloween I screen-shared The Rocky Horror Picture Show with a group of people I have known since my sophomore year. It wasn’t in person, but we still had so much fun making food and having conversation. Connect with the people who bring you joy and peace. This is so helpful to you mentally, but also physically, academically, and spiritually. Everything is always less lonely and less stressful with some friends, so always call up your favorite people for a conversation or a work session­— they are likely looking for some friendship, as well.

Lastly, give yourself grace and peace. This is much harder than it sounds, but it is also only something that can come from you. Life is always going to be stressful, things are going to go wrong, and a pandemic might make its way into your life and ruin all of your plans for the next 5 years. We cannot control this, no matter how much it really stinks— and let’s be real, it absolutely stinks. The only thing we can do is allow ourselves to acknowledge the stress, anger, loneliness, and frustration we all feel, accept its course, and search for what allows us some release.  Find your peace in artwork, Netflix, books, conversations, or walks in your neighborhood. Know that your feelings are valid and find things to fill your cup. Spend the time and do what it takes to take care of yourself— it only takes a few seconds to see the benefits, and you’ll thank yourself over time for making room for yourself!

In all, I’m sad that I’ll be leaving in May, but my biggest goal this year was to seek more out of life and seek more out of what I have left in my home away from home, whatever that “more” constitutes. My biggest and only regret from my past few years is that I should have practiced these things sooner, so consider my advice if you have one, two, or three years left to go. Continue to connect with Loyola’s community with open arms: you’ll be eternally grateful that you did.

Featured Image courtesy of Edwin Hooper via Unsplash

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Senior year, during a pandemic: reflections