I am so, so sorry.
I am so sorry to the freshmen who didn’t even get to experience a full first year of college life on a college campus in such a vibrant city.
I am so sorry to the sophomores and juniors who had their semester cut short and are losing out on time spent with their closest college friends.
Most of all, I am so sorry to the seniors that had the last weeks of their undergraduate career ripped away in an instant.
I’m a senior, and like the rest of my graduating class, we were on track to walk across the stage in front of our cheering, clapping and crying families and friends one month from today.
If things were normal, we would still have four weeks of class before finals week. If things were normal, Village Park would be lively and filled with laughing students basking in the early spring sunlight or lack thereof thanks to our gloomy, beautiful city.
If things were normal, I wouldn’t have to write this.
The world has seen pandemics before, but everyone is repeating the same phrases recently: “We’ve never seen anything like this before,” and “…these unprecedented and uncertain times…”
I understand the severity of our current situation, and I understand the precautions the government is taking to protect the safety and well-being of all individuals. The cases of COVID-19 are rising across the globe, across the country and in our very own states.
It’s a terrifying time, but this virus is also manageable, and we will return to a normal lifestyle someday.
I’m certainly not a healthcare professional, so I can’t tell you whether that will be in weeks, months or years. I’m just the girl sitting on her bed typing away into the late hours of the night to share my deepest, sincerest sympathy with every single one of you.
Freshmen, this isn’t what college is like. Sophomores and juniors, you know this isn’t what college is like.
Seniors, this isn’t how college was supposed to end.
But it did – and here’s what we all have to celebrate.
Freshmen, you’ve had your first taste of the college experience. You’ve started your journey of a lifelong friendship with the friends who stuck by your side through all of the newness that is your first year away from home.
Sophomores, you have another year under your belt. You’re climbing through your degree with flying colors. Your entry-level classes are mostly out of way – unless you’re like me and put off a few general education courses until the last minute.
Juniors, you’re almost there! You have one more year left, but please, take it from someone who is just weeks away from the finish line, don’t wish it all away. You have one more year to be with the friends you’ve known for three years but feel like you’ve known them your entire life. Finish out strong, strengthen that GPA and get serious about job hunting.
Seniors, you’ve nearly done it all. Four more weeks and we will have completed our undergraduate degrees. We will say goodbye to our favorite professors, roommates and our best friends, the late nights and early mornings, the tears, the laughs and our home away from home.
I’m so sorry it ended like this, but I’m so proud of you.