Fall 2020 will be a semester for the books, not just because of Covid-19’s occurrence but because of the great memories that I made. Yes, this sentence that I just said may sound like a joke. However, it is all very very true. Fall 2020 was one of my best semesters at Meredith. Despite everything that has all happened and been cancelled this semester and year, I am still very grateful for the experiences that I have had and the opportunities that have and are to come. Fall 2020 may have “sucked” in some regards, but it is what it is and as humans we have to continuously adapt and make it work for us.

Flashback to Spring 2020. I was anxious, sad, angry, and mourning the loss of my remaining “normal” college semester. When I say “normal,” I mean a semester that is filled with all of the typical things that college students do, such as outings with friends, large scale gatherings, and in-person classes on a regular basis. I thrived off of the social aspect of college as well as the academic aspect – they went hand in hand with my successes at Meredith. I became depressed and spent my days looking at old pictures and wishing for the happy memories that I had had in early 2020 and before to come back again. I wanted to make more memories just the way they were before. In fact, I majorly desired for it to occur.

As we all know, life is meant to change – it is our only consistency. With the changes that come with the coronavirus pandemic come adaptation. And adaptation takes time – it is not an overnight thing. Nothing happens overnight, especially coping with and dealing with change. Summer 2020 was a summer filled with self growth, knowing my self worth, and making the best of all of the harsh changes since March 2020. At the same time, I used my platform here on The Pink Chickadee to connect with others who are also fellow preppy fashion and Lilly Pulitzer lovers. The network that I have made has since grown into such a great blessing in my life. The Pink Chickadee truly helped me break out of my shell and adapt to the continuing changes in our world that have occurred throughout 2020 along with discovering to love my own self.

As I got into my Fall 2020 semester, I was nervous for what was to come. Nothing was going to look the same at the sweet college that I call my second home – Meredith. Meredith College is filled with a ton of large scale events known as Traditions that are unique to it. Each of these Traditions is super special to me and to my classmates. To watch the social aspect of Meredith that I saw before March 2020 disappear before my eyes made me sad and sometimes even cry.

Although I love the Traditions that truly make Meredith College Meredith College, my shift and energy has changed on what Meredith College means to me. With the current Black Lives Matter movement and momentum for inclusion of everyone, the ways that Meredith has run pre-Covid have not been the most inclusive for students of all races, sexualities, ethnicities, gender identities, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds, etc. While I love Meredith Traditions and the memories that they have brought me, they have hurt so many of my classmates in the past. Knowing this information now helps me to realize that while I loved Traditions, they are not the best thing to have right now and that is okay. Currently, I am working to help my Class as Fundraising Chair, my Math and Computer Science Department as Canaday Math & Computer Science Club (CMCS) President, and Angels for Disability Advocacy (ADA) Vice President by providing all students with inclusive virtual opportunities to be present and involved on campus.

This semester, I have really been able to shine inside and outside of the classroom. The Pink Chickadee has not only flourished, but it has grown in ways like never before this semester. If I had been uber engaged in Meredith College social life, then I would not have had time to progress on my platform as much as I did. At the same time, I have truly been able to succeed inside the classroom. My interests within my Data Science, Statistics, and Website Development courses have ignited and shined now more than ever before. I am also working on my Honors Thesis this year and really enjoying working on my own research project independently while applying my skillset from within the classroom to grow as a future Data Scientist even more. At the same time, I also made the Dean’s List – a symbol of all of my hardwork and passion this semester from the classroom and The Pink Chickadee.

The biggest consistency in my Fall 2020 semester life, before, and after it has been my friends. Each of my friends and I have all gone through the same things this year and, while none of us like it, we are all in this together. My friends are the people that I can count on to be safe and for me to do the same for them. We truly have had each others’ backs since before the coronavirus pandemic hit and during. They have truly been such a blessing in my life, and the bond that I have with each of my friends is something that I will never ever take for granted.

Although Fall 2020 looked nothing like I had envisioned it to, I am still oh so grateful and blessed for the memories and bonds that I have made. Without this semester, I would not have been able to genuinely grow my platform on The Pink Chickadee and as a human being in the ways that I have. Here’s to a great but very different semester and one left to come!

XOXO – Katie <3

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