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  • Writer's pictureRAYANA PETRONE

Make the most of it

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

Photo courtesy of Rayana Petrone

Coming to college as a first-year in 2019, I never would have expected things to turn out the way that they have. As I wrap up my junior year and head into my final year this fall, I find myself looking back with sadness that my time as an undergrad student is almost up.

Most of my college experience has taken place throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected me in more ways than I might’ve ever thought it would. I chose to return to campus in the fall of 2020 when the university gave students the choice to reside on campus, commute, or study remotely.

Choosing to live on campus last year is something I am so happy I did at the end of the day, despite all of the ups and downs that came along with that decision. COVID-19 restrictions on campus limited social interactions, which presented me with a lot of challenges personally. I found myself struggling to meet new people outside of those I had already known as a first year, and having a hard time with the restrictions on campus.

Instead of continuing to feel sorry for myself, I made the conscious effort to try and make the most of the situation I was in and push myself to be more social among those I was able to interact with. I joined the student-run newspaper that year, which allowed me to meet so many wonderful people who shared similar interests with me. I also began working in the admissions office as a Blue Key Society (BKS) ambassador where I met so many students with a variety of interests and expanded my knowledge about the university.

Looking back, I am beyond glad that I forced myself out of my shell in such a difficult time because of where it led me now. I’m not sure I would have survived the craziness that was last year without these two organizations. Luckily, I have had a much more “normal” year this year, and have grown in my roles both in BKS and on the Chronicle, where I now serve a section editor.

I am looking forward to next year and am excited to see what else is in store for me, but in the back of my mind I am still sad about the time I’ve lost in college. However, I am planning on continuing to embrace the mindset of making the most of it, and am going into my senior year happier than ever to do just that.

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