As far back as I can remember, I have always been an optimistic person — this is something that makes me very proud. Here is the best way I can explain it: every morning when I wake up, I try hard to make it a good day.
Well, in March 2020 that was a very hard thing to do, from being told my first collegiate lacrosse season was over just six games in to not being able to complete my freshman year on campus with all my new friends. Let’s just say it really put a damper on my optimistic mindset.
What I realized is the world will do what it wants and all I can control is how I react and respond in the most positive way I know how. So, that is what I did.
I took the time at home to be with family and play lacrosse. By the time July came around, I was able to come back to Marietta as an Onboarding Leader. And before I knew it, it was H.O.M.E. week with the incoming freshman class. Here I was, a rising sophomore who didn’t get to finish my freshman year on campus, back at Marietta helping a new crop of students who were nervous and trying to figure out where their class was located and where was the best place to eat and all the other things that seem so daunting at the time, but in the end are fairly trivial in a few weeks.
But I realized I was getting back into a rhythm of my own. As the first semester progressed — and yes, we had to wear masks all the time and there were some small outbreaks of COVID-19 on campus — I realized I was having fun again. I was that optimistic person that I always strived to be. I found new friends, who are more like family. Yes, I got to play lacrosse again and I was in a classroom, which was more than most of my friends who go to other schools could say.
I realized when I woke up every morning that I was still thinking, “How can I make this a good day?” It just looked different than it had before. I am a people person, and it was difficult not being allowed to hug people. I didn’t like that people could not see me smiling as I walked by them.
Knowing that I wasn’t the only one who struggled at times allowed me to be honest with the people around me, and having those conversations made working through our shared struggles much easier.
Those people who became family in the first couple weeks were and still are my “bubble,” and we were having fun — masks and all. It was not always easy, but we talked, and we were honest about our feelings. We sucked it up and supported each other. We also had amazing support from the faculty and staff at Marietta College. They did everything they could to help us keep our heads up and smiles on our faces.
In the end, the 2020–21 school year has not been the easiest, but with the help of a positive mindset, amazing community and friends who became family, it was a school year I will be forever thankful to have had. I am proud to say that we made the most of our Marietta Moment.
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