Posts Tagged ‘graduation’

The Effect of Covid-19, Remote Learning and What Comes Next

Friday, September 10th, 2021

It’s strange to think about how much I longed for home during my first year of college, which ironically ended up being where I finished my junior and senior years. I was back home for spring break when it was announced that BU would be going remote. I subsequently made a quick day trip to Boston to pick up some essentials from my dorm and left the rest, assuming that I would be coming back to the city. I did eventually step foot in Boston, but it was for my graduation, approximately a year and a half later.

BU Commencement 2021: Over in a Flash | BU Today | Boston University
BU’s Commencement for the Class of 2021
Image Credit: https://www.bu.edu/articles/2021/bu-commencement-2021-over-in-a-flash/

I have mentioned before that studying abroad in London made me want to really explore Boston and take advantage of being in a city, so I was definitely sad that my time in Massachusetts was cut short. However, I assumed that remote learning would be manageable because, as I’ve also previously stated, I’m more of an introvert and I believed that taking classes over Zoom would be no big deal.

Gradually, though, taking classes virtually began to wear me down and I started realizing all the small things that I missed from being on campus. I missed being able to talk with my classmates before and after class. I missed walking around Boston and Brookline. I missed going to various spots on campus to do my coursework. I missed not staring at a screen for hours on end.

View from the 26th floor of StuVi2
Image Credit: https://www.bu.edu/articles/2021/bu-commencement-2021-over-in-a-flash/

The pandemic and remote learning gave me a new appreciation for all the interactions and activities that I took for granted while on campus. It also made me extremely grateful for all the opportunities and stuff I did before the world seemingly came to a halt. 

Even though I was taking classes remotely, I did step outside of my comfort zone with the classes I took, particularly in my final semester. Before then, I had certainly taken courses that forced me to do so. For instance, I had classes that were small and discussion-based, meaning I had to actively participate and voice my opinions, which was challenging for me. I was constantly nervous about not saying something smart, like my classmates, or fumbling over my words. There were some professors who liked to randomly call on students to answer questions and that was even scarier because I was in fear of being called on and not knowing what to say.

The classes that I took in my final semester were different, though, in that the major projects were tasks I had never done before. One class required me to make a video and I needed to assist in writing a script, and maybe do some acting, for another class. I had never edited a video, written a script, or acted. When I saw the syllabi for both of these classes, part of me was tempted to drop out of both. 

However, I decided to take the classes because my time at BU was ending, so I had to seize the chance to take courses that seemed interesting, or else regret not doing so. Also, making a video meant learning and refining a new skill, which would be a nice break from binging shows in my downtime (something I was admittedly doing a lot during the pandemic). And script writing would allow me to practice my creative writing abilities, since I did mostly analytical writing assignments in college. As for the acting, I could take comfort in the fact that I wouldn’t be doing it in-person. 

I actually really liked taking those classes since they were unlike anything I had taken before. A lot of the people in my classes were amateurs in video editing and script-writing as well and the professors weren’t expecting us to be experts. Therefore, knowing that what I created didn’t have to be perfect, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was able to enjoy the classes more and try new things before graduating.

If you are looking to step outside your comfort zone, I absolutely recommend checking out classes outside the discipline you are studying in or courses that require you to try something new. It’ll help you expand your horizons, pick up additional skills and perhaps pique your interest in a subject you never considered before. There are deadlines to drop out of a class, so if you show up on the first day and decide it’s not your cup of tea, you aren’t forced to keep drinking it for the rest of the semester. 

Now that I’ve graduated, I’m looking at multiple master’s programs. I had applied to one and was offered admission, but after deliberation and conversations with friends and family, I decided not to accept. Ultimately, I felt like the program I applied to wasn’t right for me. Now, without the stress of college, I’ve been able to research different programs and really think about what I want to do for graduate school. Of course, it is a bit frustrating not currently knowing exactly what direction my life is going in, yet I am glad to have this small break from school after all of the pressure I placed on myself to succeed academically in high school and college. Besides, I want to be certain that I pick a master’s program that I will be happy with instead of just rushing to finish my graduate studies. 

Just to summarize:

  • Attempt to make the most of your time in college and take a minute to appreciate the little things that we take for granted.
  • Selecting an interesting class can be a good way to step out of your comfort zone, so don’t be afraid to search for courses outside your discipline.  
  • It’s alright not to go straight into graduate school after finishing your undergraduate studies. It’s fine to take your time. Everyone’s paths through life are unique.

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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Quarantine Contemplation: We’re all just doing.

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

At the close of 2020, I promised myself that I would take a gap year. After four years of juggling my academics, extracurriculars, relationships, and well-being, and considering the tumultuousness of the past year, I figured that everyone could use a break. I started planning my summer. Wake up, eat, eat, eat, sleep, repeat—the closest that humans can get to hibernation.

Then came January, February, and March, and upon a string of fortunate events, from becoming a mentor, to landing my first part-time job, to applying to graduate school, to entering an internship, to volunteering with an organization, to landing my second part-time job, to becoming a mentor (again), to accepting a fellowship, to being invited to present at a research conference, I decided to accept an offer for a third part-time job. I thought I’m already wearing all these hats, might as well fill up the closet.       

You don’t have to be a nurse to appreciate these busy-bee nursing memes. You just have to be…busy.

The dominoes fell, and my mind whirl winded.

Advocate in more spaces. Volunteer with more organizations. Pursue a remote global internship. Apply to the Fulbright program. Enroll in a TEFL certification course. Learn a new language. Join a research lab. Run a virtual marathon. Look for a fourth part-time job.

By mid-March, I was the most involved I’ve ever been. Feeling like I not only was capable but obligated to take on every opportunity I was extended, I cast myself a vote of confidence. No doubt I could balance these responsibilities and achieve my quality (and quantity) standard all the while maintaining my physical and mental health.

Super-busy-girl memes can be very helpful when you’re too tired to express how tired you are.

Right!

Right?

Certainly!

Uncertainly.

With summer inching closer by the day, I’m filled with what I can only describe as a bidirectional spiral of invigorating uncertainty. Over these last three months, I have thought more about my future than I ever have before, and yet, I still feel like I have no idea why I’m doing what I’m doing or what it even is that I’m trying to accomplish. On top of the shakiness of simply being a graduating senior and young professional, the blow and the blur of the pandemic only exacerbate this uncertainty.

While I’m determined to bat at nearly every pitch, I have friends who are ready to build their careers in full-time positions with laser focus. Some friends are preparing for medical school and higher education, wracking their brains, and wrecking their sleeping schedules. Others are siphoning their resources into self-care, determined to dedicate their summer and immediate post-grad plans to self-development and nurturing their passions.

All of these plans and proposals, all of these actions and initiatives, and yet, the question persists in so many people’s heads—now what?

Through all the spaces that I’m involved in, I’ve come to two (One-and-a-half? One? I’m not sure, I’ve never really been good with numbers) revelatory realizations. I do my best to avoid blanket statements, but here’s a comforter for you—no one knows exactly what they want to do or what they’re doing.

We’re all just doing.

And that’s okay.


Thoughtful consumption and self-care have never been more important — try some clean eats at LifeThyme Natural Market

by Christianne Evasco

Christianne is a senior at New York Univerity, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies (CAMS) and Creative Writing. Christianne’s endeavors are fueled by her passion to use her voice to help others harness the power of their own voices through therapeutically-creative means and to connect people through language and cultural exchange. In her free time, you can find her catnapping with her cats.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.

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