Well, folks, next week is “dead week,” the week before finals. One of the most dreaded times of the year for any college student. It’s weird to think that it’s almost here! Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t left my house in a month, but it just doesn’t seem like this semester should be coming to an end. It especially doesn’t feel like my undergraduate career is almost over. What a strange sentence to type!

The thing is, I don’t think it’ll feel real for a while. Since commencement was canceled, we don’t have that moment that signifies the finishing of our degree. We don’t get to walk across the stage, shake hands, and receive our diploma while surrounded by friends, family, and the professors that helped us get to this point. It’ll be hard to realize that I’m done with my bachelor’s degree.

What an odd semester it’s been. As we approach dead week, I know I’m not the only one struggling with a lack of motivation. Working from home and not being around the energy of my fellow classmates has me dragging to do any schoolwork at all. I know I’m fighting the senior-itis of “well I’m not getting a graduation commencement, why should I care at this point?” Which is a hard state of mind to battle! There are only one or two classes I feel like putting energy into, and one of those has a competition aspect that’s keeping me grinding. We’ve pulled a couple of late-night work sessions for that one and I’m genuinely excited for what we’re doing! Every other class…not so much. Maybe I just don’t have as much energy to give right now, but considering the circumstances, I think that’s okay.

I find that I keep having to remind myself that I am actually done in two weeks. I will have finished all of my classes (don’t worry, I’m not letting my grades slip at the end – I’ve worked too hard to give up now) and be done with my degree. It definitely doesn’t feel like it. Maybe our virtual graduation ceremony will shake some more sense into me, but who knows. This time that is supposed to be spent celebrating with friends has turned into a lonely, depressing season of life.

I’m trying to stay positive. Zoom calls with friends and some Animal Crossing time is helping, but it doesn’ weigh out all the negatives. I’ve pretty much come to with being upset though. It’s something worth being upset over. For college seniors, it’s a grieving process right now for losing the end of our college careers. We didn’t get to have our last all-nighters with classmates, the hugs and hoorays from professors who have gotten us to this point, or the goodbyes to friends going opposite directions. It makes this season of dealing with a pandemic just that much worse.

If you’re like me and feeling bummed about not having a commencement, don’t forget to be proud of yourself. Keep pushing through to finish college strong. Plan something fun to look forward to on the day you were supposed to graduate. Even if it’s just sitting in your cap and gown at home while drinking champagne or hosting your own graduation in your backyard, so something that will lift your spirits. The day is still yours and you deserve to be celebrated! I know I’m proud of you.

Good luck to everyone in school as we wrap up this semester! It’s been a rough one, for sure, but bright things are coming. Just keep pushing towards that light. We’ll all get to better things soon. If you know a senior, make sure to give them a hug or a little message of encouragement. They could use it!

❤ / Bailey


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