Students and staff, to say that this semester has been difficult is like saying Godzilla was just your neighbor’s pet lizard. Amidst a global pandemic, nationwide lockdowns, and economic uncertainty, we also found ourselves in a tense election year. If this was not stressful enough, we had to focus on maintaining our responsibilities of school and work, which if you ask literally anyone is another challenging category by itself. My readers, I have seen your fatigued countenances. I have heard your anxieties, complaints, and worries. I have felt the same exhaustion and tension. I understand these feelings all to well. As a freshman, I must say that this semester has brought along many unexpected circumstances.
I remember first hearing about Co-Vid 19 on the news. It was my senior year in high school, and I was desperately hoping that it would not cause my senior year to be terminated. Little did I know that Co-Vid 19 would affect more than just my senior year but also my freshman year in college. Because of social distancing, making friends posed more of a challenge than it usually would. Because of the pandemic, sports have been postponed till the spring—which meant I did not have the pleasure of cheering on our athletic Majors this fall. I honestly expected to experience the thrill of being a college student: the wild parties everyone goes to, the late-night hours spent with friends, the cool activities that clubs plan throughout the year. Instead my “college” experience is just a bland, broken record: wake up, work, and sleep. I know that I am being facetious; however, this semester has taken a toll on us all, especially the freshmen. Despite this, I would like to praise and thank the students, faculty, and staff of Millsaps College alike for your resilience, flexibility, and hard work during this semester.
Praises to you, students, for doing your best to attend your classes every day. You have remained focused and diligent. Being flexible, determined, and hopeful became your daily motto. Your awareness about your mental health and stability turned into your priority. Isolation and quarantine disturbed your social life and heightened your boredom, but you patiently isolated yourself for not only your wellbeing but for others as well. Thank you for enduring this pandemic and keeping your spirits high.
Kudos to the staff of Millsaps College for opening Millsaps in the face of uncertainty. Clearly, you have taken serious risks, but your sacrifices are not underappreciated or unrecognized. You all have handled your jobs to the best of your ability, even though you may have made mistakes and struggled through the process. To hammer into the minds of the students CDC guidelines became your priority. Each of you has made it as safe as possible for us to socialize and learn without fear. Daily, you prepared several types of dishes and maintained the cleanliness of dorms, offices, and classrooms. Truly, your services are of the utmost value and well-respected. Thank you, staff, for going beyond your duties to ensure the well-being of your students.
Cheers to the instructors of Millsaps for risking your safety just to educate and prepare our young minds to change the world. Through it all, your enthusiasm and positivity when the world around is chaotic have given us a solid foundation to stand on. You have been there for us, gave us listening ears and sound advice when we needed them most. You motivated us, consoled us, and lent us your sympathy and smiling faces, no matter how terrible you were feeling. Unintentionally, you have set the standard for us as young adults to hold dear to our character: to be courageous in the face of uncertainty, tribulation, and peril. I could say thank you from now until I graduate from graduate school, but my gratitude will never be enough. So, I will just say it once, thank you.
As we are nearing the conclusion of this semester, I would like to encourage the students and staff to continue to thrust your efforts into finishing this semester strong. I am highly impressed and proud of my classmates, professors, and Millsaps staff. You all truly have outshone the gloominess of this pandemic.