Appreciating senior year after abrupt ending

By Alyssa Foy | Reporter

Before spring break, I drafted an opinion piece about appreciating senior year and the uncertainties that come along with the changes of transitioning to a life after graduation. I never could have imagined that just a week later, spring break would be extended with two weeks of online classes. I definitely could not have imagined that just as that week of extended spring break begun, in-person classes would be suspended for the rest of the semester.

I was still in disbelief for probably the entirety of the extended break. I had been planning to put together a bucket list of everything Waco and Baylor to see and visit and do again before graduation, and now I had to understand that I would never walk along Fountain Mall to class again or have a student organization meeting in the SUB or be able to pick up a copy of the Lariat that had something I wrote printed in it.

I know I echo the thoughts of many seniors now when I say that although I’m disappointed to be missing the last two months of my college experience, I know this decision, mirrored in colleges across the country, has the potential to be a major contributor to stopping the spread of COVID-19 as long as we continue to follow CDC guidelines.

When I originally began writing about appreciating senior year before all of this happened, there was already so much uncertainty of what would come next. Depending on their major, many students are still in the thick of the job search. To now throw a pandemic in to the mix undoubtedly makes this time even more uncertain. Many companies are freezing hiring efforts or relying on a completely digital interview process, which requires a completely different student approach.

Now in addition to typical senior year uncertainties like moving and starting that job, we have to wonder what will happen tomorrow. Every day there is an update, a new state or county taking shelter-in-place action and new graphs and charts showing what the coming days might look like. Now we have to wonder when the virus will stop spreading, when a vaccine will be available and when life will return to some semblance of what we consider “normal”— all while worrying about loved ones in our lives who may be more susceptible to the virus than we are.

In the meantime, while we are in various places away from campus, we may find ourselves with some time on our hands because we are following CDC guidelines. I hope that in this time of social distancing when we may feel apart from our school and our community, seniors can still appreciate what we had of our time at Baylor.

If I had another semester at Baylor, I don’t think I would ever take walking on campus to class for granted again. It’s definitely about the little things, and I hope in the midst of this we can all still take time to reflect on the memories we’ve had here.

Although there is so much uncertainty in this season of our lives, what is certain is the amazing college experiences we have already had. Hold on to those certainties for strength in this next season.