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How I’ve Grown Thanks to COVID

Student

When I began my college career in the fall quarter of 2020, I still felt like a high schooler. With the pandemic in full swing, I had countless life events taken from me. Having never had the traditional graduation where I walked across the stage and not being able to move into dorms, I never received closure on the high school chapter of my life. Therefore, attending Zoom classes in my bedroom felt no different than what I had been doing the second semester of my senior year.

My first quarter of college felt nothing like the college experience I was expecting. Over the years I had heard countless stories from friends and family about how freeing it is to set out on your own and how fun college is. Yet here I was supposedly a college student, still working my high school job, sitting in my childhood room doing schoolwork, and having dinner with my family every night. 

My motivation throughout the first quarter was the hope I had for moving into the dorms for the winter quarter. I had made some friends by this point and was excited to start my college experience. When people would ask me how school was going or if I was bummed about not being able to be at school, I reassured them, and myself for that matter, that it was fine because I would get to move in for the winter quarter.

However, when the University postponed the dorm move-in date yet again due to the pandemic I had to reevaluate my plans. My family and I decided it would be best for me to be able to move out and expand my horizons. It was at this point that I decided to move into an apartment near campus with some friends I had met over the course of the first quarter. My college experience now looks much different than it did in September of 2020. As a result of moving out and living on my own, I have grown tremendously as a student and as a person. 

Moving into my own apartment aided me academically. Living on my own instilled a certain maturity that only comes with independence and self-reliance. Through living on my own I learned how to better manage my time as I was now responsible for chores I previously had relied on my parents to do.

This newfound time management extended to my school work. Going into my first quarter at Santa Clara I was confident in my writing based on the grades I had received throughout high school. However, my confidence waned after being in four classes right off of the bat that were based heavily on writing. I was challenged by the number of essays I had amongst all of my classes combined. Typically writing essays takes me a good amount of time as I like to plan it out, then write, and revise. So as a result of having multiple essays a week, I was forced to adapt and hone in on writing skills in order to write more efficiently and effectively. I also had to manage my time better so that I could allocate the necessary amount of time for each essay that I felt I needed in order to produce my best work. This allowed me to produce better content for each of my courses.

CTW 1 greatly aided me in my journey to becoming a better writer and college student because I learned lots of helpful information to better my writing for this course along with all my other courses. I can recall various occasions over the past two quarters where the tools I learned in this course were able to assist me in my writing. For example, in my politics class, I was able to use quote integration tools I gained from the Habits readings to enhance my writing. 

Aside from the academic aspect of college, I felt that I have grown in the social aspect as well. Moving out allowed me to expand my horizons and meet new people. With the pandemic and everything being online, being social but also safe as a college student has been more challenging. However, since my first quarter, I was able to join a sorority and later become an officer. This allowed me to meet a lot more people in a COVID-conscious way. This has helped me to grow as a college student because I have been able to have some of the fun experiences that I have been looking forward to.

I might not have gotten the traditional experience of getting to move on campus, however, I did get the opportunity to move out. This has also helped with my resilience during these times because when I become overwhelmed with my busy schedule, I know that I have my friends to lean on. Before living on my own, I never truly understood the importance of leaning on others when you are struggling because my family was always there. However, now that my parents aren’t always around, I have learned how imperative it is to have a strong support system that you can turn to. This knowledge has helped me grow as a college student because this is something that I will be able to use my whole life. 

Overall, these past few months have been less than expected. I had a certain picture in my mind of how my freshman year of college would pan out and this was not it, to say the least. However, without the pandemic that kept me at home during my first quarter at SCU, I never would have realized how lucky I am to have to opportunity to live with friends. I feel that over the past few quarters I have grown as a student exponentially because I have gained life lessons from being in college and living away from home that has benefited me socially and academically. As a result of these lessons, my way of life has improved because I am now a better time manager, writer, and friend. 

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