I'm Going to Be a College Senior in the Fall, and I Don't Know How to Feel

Vivian Whitney
tmp_yGFLKZ_349ff006e1394004_auditorium-benches-chairs-class-207691.jpg
tmp_yGFLKZ_349ff006e1394004_auditorium-benches-chairs-class-207691.jpg

It's old news at this point that college life is going to be very different for students come fall. Before the spring semester was even over, many universities closed down due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and were already making announcements about their plans for the fall semester. My school has decided to resume in-person instruction and residential life starting in August, and even though all I want is for normal college life to return this fall, I know that won't be the case.

While this pandemic has affected people in far different and worse ways than it has affected me, I know my senior year is going to be nothing like I imagined or hoped it would be. And what makes it harder is that I don't know what to expect at this point. Every week I get a new email outlining the updates about how my university will function when classes resume. There will be an accelerated schedule. Random COVID-19 testing. No classes larger than 30 students. Weekend classes.

It's hard to prepare for a senior year I don't know will happen and potentially miss out on things I've been looking forward to for years.

Now, I understand that those things are by no means terrible. They're reasonable and safe precautions and measures my school has to take so that we can return to campus. But with so much uncertainty around it all, I can't imagine or prepare for what things will truly be like. With the new accelerated schedule, classes are going to start a week earlier and end before Thanksgiving break. After that, students won't return to campus before Christmas, and we'll take finals online. Because of this, some Friday and weekend classes are going to be required to make up for reduced class sizes (to ensure social distancing is possible) and the lost time.

Professors have been asked to think of how to host their office hours outside. Study spaces are being transformed to allow for social distancing. We're going to be able to return to campus and take classes, but at what cost? College isn't just about the classes. It's also about studying with friends in the library, having meetings for the clubs you're in, eating in the student center, talking with professors in their offices, and going to guest-speaker lectures. While I still prefer this all to online classes, I still feel like I'm going to be missing out on so much while having to attend classes in the most impersonal way. Not to mention all the extracurricular and social events, activities, and traditions that will be canceled.

Even with all of these precautions, I'm still not sure my school will really open this fall, as COVID-19 cases are still rising at an alarming rate and many states are shutting things down again after they started to slowly reopen. It's hard to prepare for a senior year I don't know will happen and potentially miss out on things I've been looking forward to for years.

Related: A Love Letter to My College That Might Permanently Close Due to COVID-19: Thanks For Having Me

But through it all, my friends are keeping me going. The lease for our seven-person house started on June 1, and we're still planning on making the most of it. Despite the uncertainty around school, this will be my first time living with my six best friends. No matter what classes or campus life looks like, I'll at least be with the people that matter most to me - people who are going through the exact same things as I am.

I know that my senior year of college will be pretty unconventional come August, no matter how my university decides to handle things, but my friends and I will get through it together. And regardless of the ways the pandemic has affected us all, we're doing our best to support each other and have the best last year together. Is it the senior year we asked for or imagined? Of course not. But we're going to make the most of it and cherish the extra time together we've all been afforded. And that's enough for now.

More From

  • What You Need to Know About Kamala Harris's Husband, Douglas Emhoff

    Though Sen. Kamala Harris was announced as Joe Biden's running mate just yesterday, her historic nomination has already sparked renewed public interest in the politician's personal life.

  • Anastasia Beverly Hills's New Lip Stain Is Transfer-Proof, So It Wins in My Book

    Whether or not my makeup can withstand wearing a face mask isn't something I thought I'd have to consistently ask myself, but here we are more than halfway through a year that's been full of surprises. Even though my moments of social interaction have been few and far between these last few months thanks to the pandemic, I've slowly started wearing makeup again, which means that I've also had to dig deeper into my stash of products to find long-lasting options that won't transfer onto my mask. One product that's passed the test with flying colors is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Stain ($18). The lip stain is one of Anastasia Beverly Hills's latest launches that officially dropped this week. At the moment, it comes in six different colors - Black Cherry, Dusty Rose, Hot Pink, Rosewood, Orchid, and Grey Mauve - and what differentiates it from a traditional lipstick, or even a liquid lipstick, is that it's slightly more lightweight. When I tried the Black Cherry shade, I found that it applies like water and almost feels like I'm wearing nothing at all, but it still delivers a bold color with some serious staying power that doesn't smudge when I touch it. Even more important is that when I tried it on with a face mask, it still didn't budge, making it a clear winner in my book. Pick up any of the lip stains ahead if you want to judge for yourself.

  • Experts Explain What's at Stake in the 2020 Election When It Comes to Women's Health

    With the 2020 election less than three months away, all eyes are on the showdown between the incumbent Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. The former has repeatedly waged attacks on women's rights, particularly when it comes to healthcare issues including (but not limited to) Title X funding, access to contraception, and a longheld mission to overturn Roe v. Wade. Of course, President Trump is hardly the only politician who poses a threat to women's health. It's equally important to educate ourselves about the healthcare policies and voting records of Congressional, state, and even local candidates. Most campaigns have websites that include comprehensive information about a candidate's policies, so you can become well-versed on where they stand on the issues that are most important to you. If a candidate's stance on a particular issue isn't available to the public, contact them and request a clear answer on the actions they plan to take if elected. To get you started, we've rounded up six of the most pressing issues on the ballot in November, according to doctors and policy experts.

  • I Ordered Dozens of Items From Old Navy, but These Are the 13 I'm Keeping

    Since we should avoid perusing stores in-person these days, online shopping has become how I purchase everything. If you're in need of some summer clothes, but feel overwhelmed by all the options, I'm here to help. Old Navy has tons of cute and affordable releases right now, so I ordered dozens of pieces (yes, that many) to try on at home. I narrowed it down to the 13 best items you should have on your radar if your wardrobe needs a little pick-me-up. Ahead, check out my favorite pieces I am keeping this summer. For reference, I am wearing a size large in everything. Luckily, all of these clothes are under $50, so you'll be getting major deals. Plus, Old Navy is having a huge sale today and you can get an extra 30 percent off most items at checkout. Follow along on my try-on journey and buy some new must haves from the comfort of your couch. It's a winning situation all around. Related: This Summersalt Wrap Swimsuit Sold Out in 7 Days, So I Had to See If It's Worth the Hype