And some unrelated photos of Boston and BU
Going into my first semester of college, I already knew everything was going to be different because of the pandemic. I was fortunate to go to a school that was still having some in-person classes because we were getting tested every three days and there were daily symptom checks and compliance badges that we had to show to get into certain buildings, so I was feeling a little more confident that I would be a little safer choosing to go on campus. With all that in mind, I think I had a good semester. It was definitely not the dream semester I had in mind, but I learned to adapt to the changes and still made the most out of my time. To organize my mind a bit, I’m going to break this up into three sections of how the semester went.
1) I’m an avid procrastinator, and that needs to change.
With the pandemic starting in my last semester of high school, I had already gotten a taste of a more independent form of learning that I knew was going to happen again in college whether or not there was a pandemic in the first place. However, with even that taste, the workload of the last semester of high school was something I was used to and less than when we were attending school in-person. Naïvely, I applied that knowledge to my college classes and was boggled down with work when I shouldn’t have been.
In the first couple months, I learned that college classes were much less interactive than I was used to, and the assigned readings were long, but I was getting them done. Later in the semester, I definitely fell into a pattern of putting off the readings to either not read them at all or only skim the pages. Huge mistake when you have a 5-page paper due the next day that you’ve barely worked on.
What’s worse about this problem is that I have no idea how to get over it.
I went into the semester hoping I could drop this habit (because it hurt me in high school too), but I could not figure out how to. My motivation dropped so much once Thanksgiving break came around, Zoom fatigue was definitely real, and I was getting homesick. All this combined led to a lot of sitting in front of my laptop with an assignment open but playing sudoku on my phone, then finishing the assignment at 2 a.m. Not recommended, by the way, but I did it anyway. Of course, I’m going to hope my self-discipline is better next semester again, but only time will tell.
2) Joining clubs was the best decision I made this semester.
Because all in-person events were canceled and the only organized occasion you could see people in-person were in certain classes, I was starved for something to do with my time. I already knew I was going to join clubs at any college I ended up at because they were such a large part of my high school career and how I went about filling my time. College was not going to be any different there.
In the first month after the campus-wide club fair, called Splash, (held virtually, of course), I joined a four clubs/on-campus organizations: The Daily Free Press, Her Campus at BU, COMSA, and WTBU. (I also joined a badminton club, but the practices got canceled for new members, so I never got to play this semester, hopefully next semester though.) While the meetings are all virtual, it as allowed me to meet some new people and have some events to attend in the evenings. And jumping off of that…
3) Making friends was very difficult.
As someone who already is very introverted when it comes to spontaneous conversation, I already have a hard time forming friendships. The Zoom classes did not help my situation there this semester. While I don’t want to diminish whatever is in my head that makes it so difficult for me to approach people, I do know that some of this problem is just my fault. Approaching new people has never been a strong suit for me, especially just talking casually. It’s a weird dilemma in my head because I spoke with at least two strangers on the phone every week to write articles for the newspaper, but I can’t talk to my peers well.
That feels like a weird thing to post online, but I’ve learned to accept it and have tried to get better, which will definitely continue into the new year. There are always so many things I want to improve on every time a new year or semester comes around and making new friends and building relationships has indefinitely been on the list.
While this list was not an all-encompassing list of everything that happened to me this semester, it is close enough to what I was thinking about the entire time. Of course, there were all of the disappointments and hardships due to the pandemic, but I’m trying to alter my mindset to be more positive and in-the-moment because everything isn’t automatically going to change at the stroke of midnight of the new year.
If you are also a college student, I hope that you had a successful semester. Even though a lot of it was online, I still think it was an experience I wouldn’t take back or change.
Happy end of the holiday season, stay safe, and wear a mask 🙂
p.s. the photos are just random places on campus or in Boston that I visited, living my best city tourist life when it was still nice outside to walk around