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One last ride

| Friday, August 21, 2020

Senior year. The last ride. One final hurrah. 

It didn’t really hit me that I was entering my fourth and final year at Saint Mary’s until I stood on The Avenue with some of my closest friends, jumping up and down welcoming first-years to their new home. 

I quickly realized that I had become that upperclassman with an ungodly amount of school spirit standing in the sun on an August day. Young, naive, first-year Mia would not have imagined herself in that position three years later. 

But I guess that’s the power of a small women’s college in northwest Indiana — it turns strangers into sisters. 

As I got to know seniors over the years they seemed like some type of mythical creature. With their large, drama-free friend groups, their horizontal ID’s and plans for post-grad and beyond. Come to find out this was all a farce, and we are all truly just making it up as we go. 

My heart ached for my friends in the class of 2020 as their senior years were abruptly cut short, and they continue to await a formal closure on this chapter of their lives. But my heart also aches for all the senior traditions that my peers and I will sacrifice this year. 

Things are far from normal, and normalcy is still a long way off. Quite frankly, things suck. 

Now this is not a pity party. I am well aware that there are far more pressing issues than a whiny news editor complaining about her senior year, but this column is exactly where I get to do so. But the fact of the matter is so much has changed since I started typing this column. Instead of being riddled with anxiety about my post-grad plans, my worries consist of what news tomorrow will bring, how many days I have left on campus and the health of those in our greater campus community. 

My heart aches for all my friendships — new and old — that can’t be safely fostered this semester in ways they previously could have been. 

So while a normal senior fall is yet another victim of the pandemic, I’m hopeful the semester will be equally as memorable and thrilling. Even if that means less socializing and more mask-wearing. If staying on campus the remainder of the semester means trading in nights at Newfs for “Sex and the City” marathons with my roommates, I’ll be the first in line to participate. 

While my senior year may not be what I imagined when I first drove down The Avenue three years ago, it certainly is not one I will forget. And heck, who’s to say different is bad?

To my fellow seniors, let’s make our last ride the best one yet. It surely will be unforgettable, but at the end of the day we’ll only get out of it what we put into it. At the end of the day, we’re still at one of our favorite places, with some of our favorite people. 

Let’s get our s–t together, wear our masks and stay here until November. 

 

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Mia Marroquin

Mia Marroquin is a rising senior Communication Studies major at Saint Mary’s. Currently serving as Saint Mary’s News Editor, she hails from Holland, Michigan and is an 80’s movie fanatic. Follow Mia on Twitter @_miamarroquin

Contact Mia