With COVID- 19 still at the forefront of all of our lives, my senior year is looking drastically different than I could have ever imagined. Classes are completely online and campus is practically eerie. Even the Hoval, where students would normally be outside enjoying the beautiful September weather is completely empty. Although nothing is predictable or familiar right now, I have found some silver linings to the current situation. I am living off-campus in a house with my friends (which we signed on sophomore year), so I feel lucky that I’m still able to be together with my close friends. We’ve been able to spend a ton of quality time together and having a change of scenery from being home all spring/summer has been nice. Life is definitely less busy now than it was before COVID, and many fall Holy Cross traditions such as tailgates and sports events understandably need to be postponed until the virus is under control. If anything, I would say that new traditions are being born out of this time. My friends and I have begun going on walks more and spending time cooking dinner together most nights – things that might not have happened if we were still tied to our usual busy schedules.
Something that I have found to be pivotal this semester is still staying involved in activities in any way possible. I am happy to still be remotely involved with Social Media Interning – having a schedule and an activity outside of my classes makes daily life seem much more normal. Sitting at the same desk in front of my computer all day can also get mundane, so I try to change up my working spaces by sitting outside on my porch or doing work at the kitchen table. Campus facilities like the Dinand Library will also be open to some students soon (as long as they comply with regular testing and safety measures), so being able to go there and be on campus to some capacity is an exciting prospect.
In terms of classes, my professors have been doing an incredible job making the most out of remote learning and being sympathetic to our situation at the current time. They put such a great effort into making Zoom classes as engaging and discussion-based as possible – their care for the students is definitely noticeable and I feel lucky to attend a school where the staff offers such a great support system. The greater administration as a whole has also been extremely proactive about testing measures and keeping COVID at bay for the few students who are on/ around campus, which is great.
Obviously, this year hasn’t been anything like what I expected my senior year to be, and I miss the “normal” Holy Cross life. Yet, considering the circumstances, it has been far better than I’ve expected and I’m hopeful for what’s to come.
~Katherine Barrette ’21