An optimistic outlook on the upcoming semester


Lojuanda Weary/The Lion's Roar

To say that the past few months have been crazy and unpredictable would be an understatement. Almost every single aspect of our lives has been affected by this pandemic, especially our educational careers. 

Keeping these realities in mind, the university has had to make a multitude of changes. 

There will certainly be big adjustments for many of us: masks will be required, in-person classes will end the week of Thanksgiving, finals will be entirely online and most holidays such as fall break have been removed. 

Needless to say, this semester will be very different. There are a lot more unknowns than usual, and plans could completely change depending on the situation we find ourselves coming fall. This is not the circumstance that any of us wanted to be in. 

I want nothing more than for everything to go back to normal. I would love to be able to go to the movie theater or vacation without having to worry about social distancing. I want to live in a world where I never have to hear the word “Zoom” again. I am sick of hearing about the virus, and I am sick of writing about the virus, but unfortunately, this pandemic is not over yet. 

Despite hopes that the virus would disappear during the summer, the threat of COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future. 

I think this is very important to realize heading into the new semester. These changes may be annoying to some, but they are made to keep us all safe. 

There is a lot of uncertainty heading into this semester, and it would be easy to develop a pessimistic attitude about all of these changes. However, pessimism in the face of this crisis will do nothing except make things worse. 

Entering into this semester with a pessimistic attitude will have profound negative effects on the entire student body. It will be much easier for us to lose motivation in our classes or to lose hope that things will get better. 

We cannot control the virus, but something that we all can control is our mindset. Instead of focusing on all of the negative aspects of these changes, I think we should be looking at the brighter side of things. 

For one thing, I am extremely excited to go back to campus. After spending five months at home, this summer cannot go by quickly enough. Attending in-person classes and participating in extracurriculars will feel great, even with masks and social distancing requirements. 

Sure, our semester is cut a little short, but having a short semester is a whole lot better than having an entire semester of remote learning. On-campus classes and events are a critical step to transitioning back to some semblance of normalcy. 

With all of this being said, there are still a lot of things we do not know. We do not know how much longer these restrictions will be required or whether they will need to be tightened. It is still up in the air whether or not we will get to have certain events this semester. 

However, we cannot let this uncertainty and anxiety control us. Even though COVID-19 is still with us, life goes on. We can either choose to be consumed with dread or push forward into a new semester with the hope that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. 

No matter what happens this fall, we are all in this together.