Finishing The Semester Strong

By Juanita
Student, South Mountain Community College

It was December 31, 2019, around 11 pm when one of my closest friends turned to me and asked what my new year’s resolution was. I hadn’t given it much thought up until that point so I decided to go with the first thing I could think of. I decided 2020 would be the year I gain back my ground. Even as a pessimist, nothing could have prepared me for what the first few months of 2020 have had in store. Social distancing and quarantine have taken a toll on everyone, myself included. My usual pre-quarantine routine started with me driving to class, staying at school for a couple of hours, and then picking up my brother from school. In the Spring of 2020, I was taking classes full time and I was thriving. I enjoyed going to class every day, meeting with professors, having group study sessions with classmates, and in general, just enjoying life on campus. I didn’t expect things to change so quickly. Spring break came and went and then was extended due to rising concerns about the virus. All classes were changed to an online format and the sudden change was hard to grasp at first. Since the first half of the semester was already done, I figured completing the rest online wouldn’t be so tough. Regardless of the struggles I faced, I made it through the semester with good grades and hopeful feelings about the next semester. With COVID still out of control, I knew things would not go back to the way they were before, but held onto the hope that they would.

Enrolling for the Fall 2020 semester was a difficult choice for me. Because of the struggles I had with learning in an online format the previous semester, I was very hesitant in applying for a full schedule of online courses. I decided to enroll and at first, I thought things would go smoothly because of the transition we were forced to go through months earlier, and felt that should have prepared me a bit for online learning. After a week or two, I realized this was not the case. I began to fall behind in one of my classes. I knew the class would be a challenge for me from the beginning, but I thought I would be able to push through it. After a few more weeks of struggling in the class, I eventually got down to a failing grade and knew I had to make a decision. Continuing in the class meant I take the high risk of failing and taking away extra time and attention from my learning in other classes that I was not willing to sacrifice. For me to be successful in my other classes, I accepted the fact that withdrawing from one class meant I was able to pull myself back up in the others, so that is what I did. Online learning is not easy for me and this semester has been one of the hardest. I hope next semester has better days and am trying my best to finish this semester strong as well.

Written Fall 2020

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