To the girl who made it through an online semester

I took my final exam this morning (as I’m writing this on Friday), which officially means that my first semester of junior year is over. And can I just say that this has been one of the hardest semesters and seasons of my life. So, I just want to take a second and first congratulate every college student who has made it through this weird semester. Secondly, parents you should be so proud of your kids for making it through the past four months, because I can promise you this has not been easy for any of us.

So, what did this online semester look like? This semester looked like daily trips to coffee shops, chapter meetings on zoom, catching flies in the bathroom at 2 am, hours spent at my desk, last minute papers, walks around the neighborhood, and quite a few tears. 

I think there is this stigma around online school, like you have all the time in the world to do anything you could possibly want to do. But online school is probably two times more difficult than any in person class, as only half of my classes were held on zoom I did a tremendous amount of self-teaching. When I was not trying to figure out what definitions went with which theories, I was working from home as well. I sat in desk chair in the corner of my room for more hours than I would like to admit. And while I would love to say every minute I was sitting in that chair I was cranking out work, that would for sure be a lie. This is probably the worst time to have social media and phones in general, because if you haven’t learned by now, they are great at helping you procrastinate.

As my semester started with COVID and being locked up in my room, the outdoors was something I craved afterwards. Getting outside was one of my saving graces during this unexpected semester. Putting in headphones and walking around the same four blocks just to get fresh air was one of the only things that I think truly kept me sane the past four months. Not only did I love getting outside, but I loved getting in my car to drive to numerous coffee shops. This semester I started drinking coffee in addition to the tea I already drink enough of (big caffeine girl). Getting out of the house, taking time to be alone and jam, or sometimes scream, in the car was my time to take a deep breath and helped me get through each day.

my people ft. my caffeine addiction

While being online for classes has its’ perks, like getting out of bed 3 minutes before class and logging on, it also has been hard. The socialization that humans need in order to live is completely taken out of the equation. I only stepped foot on campus twice this semester, when I would usually be on campus for hours a day. Being stuck in the same place for a majority of the day takes a toll on a person. Just because you are back in your college town doesn’t mean that life suddenly becomes perfect again. This semester has been one of the most difficult seasons I have ever lived through, and some days I couldn’t pretend that everything was fine and that I was having the best time ever, because I wasn’t. But, luckily, God blessed me with some really great people to help me along the way. 

I know you are just dying to know what I learned from this semester, so I’ll indulge you. This semester I learned that you have to find something good in every day. I learned that procrastinating isn’t the best option, but if you are good at it, you can still do well ;). I learned that sonic runs are always a good reason to take a break from homework. I learned that some people are put in your life to teach you lessons, not to stay. I learned that wearing pajamas to online class is more than acceptable. I learned sometimes you have to take a step back from life, and that is okay. I learned there are people always in your corner, ready to dance like a fool with you. But most of all I learned that even when it may seem like the darkest day you have experienced; the sun will always come back up.

So, to the girl who made it through an online semester, let me say again CONGRATS!! Whether this was your first semester or your last, you freaking did it and that’s amazing! Take winter break to recoup and get back on a healthy sleep schedule because I know we have all royally messed those up. While we may not know what next semester will hold when we go back to school in January, know that you’ve survived one, and you can do it again (only if necessary). And lastly, you are stronger than you know, loved more than you could ever imagine, and worth so much more than you think.