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Lara Rosales

July 24, 2020

A new semester is coming and many students will have to start their last semester online. This letter is for them.

Dear Seniors,

Look at you and how far you have come! Congratulations on getting this far. Congratulations on becoming a senior. Congratulations on your last semester of college. It does not matter how long it took you, you reached the end of your undergraduate career and that is something to celebrate. You should be extremely proud of yourself and the work you have done. Even though it might feel weird right now, your last semester will soon sink in.

Many things are still uncertain, but most colleges know the fall semester will begin online. This means that—at least the first few months—your last semester will be a virtual one. I am sure it is scary, frustrating, and disappointing to have to deal with this situation. The spring semester seniors feel the same way. For them it was so hard to have to end college with online classes. They had to readjust their learning experience halfway through the semester and it took time to adapt to the new modality.

We are hoping it will be the other way around for you. If it all works out, you will be transitioning to in-person classes before the semester is over. Or at least that is what we all hope to see happening. We want you to have that senior experience we were all once lucky to have. Your last semester is probably the most special one and you should get to enjoy it no matter what the circumstances are.

Your teachers will do their best to make online classes just as rewarding. They will continue to advice you on what to do after graduation. They will be ready to write recommendation letters for those who want to move on to graduate studies. They will provide a list of internships available to you. They will connect you with professionals looking to hire new talent. Rely on your teachers to help you take this next step into adulthood.

If you are dealing with extra stress or anxiety given the current situation, reach out to your advisors or a mental health professional. It is important you take care of yourself as well as your studies. Find someone you trust and talk to them about what you are feeling and the emotions you are dealing with. I promise you are not alone and you will always find at least one person to have your back.

Even though it is a sad and frustrating situation, you have an advantage. You finished your last semester online too. You know what it feels like to take every class through Zoom and having to submit every project through a digital platform. You understand what it means to do everything virtually. This means you at least have an idea of what this next semester will be like. Use that experience to face new challenges and stay motivated. As you may know, communication with your classmates may be lacking. But do not forget to stay in touch with them to keep each other inspired to reach your final goal: graduation.

For the last years of your life, you have dealt with multiple issues and have faced a great amount of challenges. This is just another one of those situations and you have what it takes to make it through. Now is not the time to give up. Take advantage of all the knowledge you have gained throughout your semesters and now you can put it into action. Do your best work and give your everything to these last few months. I promise you will feel so accomplished by the time you receive your diploma.

Sending energy and good luck your way,

A former student.

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