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  • Lotus Magazine MC

yours truly, maddie

Hello! I’m so excited to be writing my first Yours Truly. What I’m going to be discussing is a topic that’s commonly written about on Yours Truly, but it’s one dear to my heart. It deals with COVID speeding up my college experience, where I left this school early in the semester as a sophomore and had little to no idea I would return to campus as a senior.


The quick end to my sophomore year crushed me like most students. I had just started a new relationship, I was settled in with my friend group, and proud of the work I was achieving for the student newspaper, especially when getting promoted as web editor. Getting detached from a year where I felt like I was finally thriving was heartbreaking. My family would try to cheer me up, but I rudely would distance myself. I felt like I was failing as a partner and as a friend because it hurt to virtually connect with the people I couldn’t see anymore, and my mental health was at an all-time low. Finally, when summer hit and I was able to safely see friends again, I felt better mentally. However, that changed when my family explained that they would not financially support me to return to Manhattan in person as a junior.


I completely understood where my parents were coming from and being that all my classes and clubs were meeting remotely, it didn’t make sense to pay for on campus housing, but the decision still crushed me. On top of not being at school, all my hometown friends were able to return to their colleges, so I would spend countless Friday and Saturday nights scrolling through social media seeing what looked like everyone having a great time. At that point, I remember promising myself I’d do everything I can to return to campus Spring semester.


Eventually, I did return to campus in Spring 2021 and was so excited to finally be near my boyfriend, to hang out with friends, to be able to see classmates in person and to get some distance from living at home. Although, my time on campus lasted only three weeks and quickly I realized how much I would have been better off completing another semester from home.


I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when I realized being on campus wasn’t ideal, but I’m so glad I did. I was unhappy in my relationship and thought being there with him in person would change things, it didn’t. My friends were not acting like how friends should, so I thought hanging with them again on weekends would change that, my relationship with them grew worse. The classes my advisor promised would be in-person, all got switched to being remote within the first week of school.


There were a lot of life lessons I learned from this experience. My disastrous attempt to make things better by being in person made me grateful remote school was an option. Without the chance to do school online, I wouldn’t have departed from the toxic environment I was in and realized that the relationship and friends I had at the beginning of school, were falling apart.


Don’t wait for things to get better. If you’re in an unhealthy relationship or friendship, don’t stay with them to have something to post on social media stories on Saturday nights because take it from me, it only will get worse. I think many students would agree the pandemic took us on an emotional rollercoaster, but I'm thankful the time taught me to stand up for myself, not lie to myself, and to surround myself with people that care about me.


As we almost finish the fall semester, I hope everyone reading this takes my advice and finds the best for themselves because the time we have in college is so precious – and can be lost in an instant.


Yours Truly,

Maddie

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