For some members of the editorial board, this is our first year at UNC — whether as a transfer student or a recent high school graduate — and to say the least, this year has been nothing like it's supposed to be. Here, we reflect on what our experience has been like as we pass the one-year mark of the pandemic's stronghold on the entire world.
Because, after all, this isn’t what we signed up for. We all worked hard and put in the effort to get here, and we were let down.
The first-year experience
For many of us, attending UNC was our childhood dream. We grew up hearing of the prestigious academics, athletics and social experience. Just like the recent graduates, we, too, had our senior year snatched from us. Senior events such as prom and graduation were either canceled or held in virtual settings.
We then endured our virtual summer orientation, virtual new student convocation and our first week of class — which for the most part was also held, of course, virtually. We experienced the majority of our first semester at home, with the college experience feeling like a short two-week summer camp.
From praying to win tickets in the student basketball lottery, living in single rooms across campus and the majority of classes still held virtually, things stayed mostly the same this semester.
Though, some of us first-years still remain at home and have yet to experience life on campus. This surely hasn't been the same experience we heard would be “the time of our lives."
Yet, there is hope for the future.
We're hopeful this was only our first year, and we have three more to look forward to. Hopeful because COVID-19 cases across the nation are declining, including a positivity rate of less than one percent here on campus. Hopeful to see the steady progress of the vaccine. Hopeful for in-person classes, sporting events and social gatherings on the quad.