Going into my senior year of high school, the main thing on my mind was the process of applying and attending college. However, a few months later, the pandemic began and everything we normally did such as going to school had to be done through a screen. When going to college, I normally think of traveling to go the school campus, walk into a classroom and start my new journey of being a college student. However, the start of this new journey began with a few clicks on a keyboard and meeting new people through a screen instead. While trying to make the best of this current situation, I tried to make sure I stayed on track with my schoolwork, but it became a little difficult due to being stuck at home for majority of the time. I began to feel down and frustrated because I am not comfortable to learning in this manner, just like a lot of students. Of course, we have all had to adapt to this situation, it has not been easy. Although this first semester of college has started in unfortunate and abnormal circumstances, I am happy that I am having the opportunity to start my first year of college at all.

I know there are many students who can relate to that feeling of frustration and upset because they cannot physically attend classes. Not only have I been frustrated with the fact that I cannot go to my classes in person, but it was also frustration and upsetting not being able to have a proper high school graduation and celebrate with my former classmates. Although I was not able to experience these moments in person, I am grateful that I was able to accomplish finishing high school and now finishing my first semester of college. Acknowledging these accomplishments has reminded me of a saying that I have seen recently seen on Instagram that said “I thought 2020 would be the year I got everything I wanted. Now I know 2020 is the year I appreciate everything I have”, and this is a reminder to everyone to be grateful every day because unfortunately there have been people who have lost others during this pandemic, friends and family have not been able to see each other as often as they used to. Just like a lot of people, I have had to be extremely careful when it comes to my health due to the pandemic and it is frustrating not being able to see my friends and family as often as I usually do but of course it is better to be safe than sorry. I am very close to my siblings and at one point I had planned to see my older sister in Florida, but I made the decision not to go to Florida because I did not want to risk anything and possibly bring something into her home and to her children. Deciding not to go was upsetting and sad but it was the right decision.

Before starting the semester, I was excited to see how this school year would work with going to school from home and when the semester began it seem to be going smoothly. However, the further we got into the semester, I began to slowly lose motivation because seeing how I am more of a visual learner, it became extremely frustrating without being able to physically be in class. I did keep up with majority of my schoolwork but did lose track with a small portion of my schoolwork. Also, it is never a guarantee that the computer, phone and/or wifi connection will stay connected and working completely throughout the time that you are doing your work and while you are in class. Thankfully, my professors have been understanding with what can happen at home, but an important thing to remember is do not take advantage of how understanding the professor can be. While I was in high school, I knew that it is very important to keep up with reading emails, and if I needed to send an email to get as much as I could then I should take the time and send an email to a teacher, but now with what is going on with the pandemic, it is extremely important to send emails if help is needed. Sometimes, I can be shy to ask for help and I know that there are others who can relate, but the older I get the more I realize that I should not be shy because my professor is there to help me grow and learn from my work I have given in already. As an architecture student, each piece of work is considered a draft piece, just like when writing a written assignment and the comments/critiques that I receive will benefit the outcome of how my work is seen. Although I have had to attend school from home, I have learned ways of how to approach the way I start my work and how to continue adding improvements to my work. Since this pandemic has started, we had to learn to adapt to virtual learning. Although I am attending school from home, I have had the opportunity to continue my education through zoom calls and meet my professors. I am grateful that I can attend class through zoom because when I was finishing my senior year of high school, my teachers would put work online, I had to finish the work assigned to me and it felt more like I had to teach myself most of the material. Going into this school year, I did not think my way of getting work would be the same as my last bit of high school but of course a person does not know how the schedule would be like until they start attending classes and get started with the process. Although I will feel frustrated to work at home through my spring semester, I make the best out of my experience as a first-year college student and continue to keep pushing myself when I am losing motivation and focus.