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Student Blog: Reflecting on the Strangest School Year Ever

Being a transfer student in the middle of a pandemic makes for a weird experience.

Student Blog: Reflecting on the Strangest School Year Ever

We've made it halfway through April, and for most of us college students, that means we've only got a few weeks left in this crazy school year. To be honest, I don't think crazy even begins to describe what this school year was, but for lack of a better word that's what I'll call it. At this point in the spring semester, I'm experiencing burnout like I never have before, but I'm still alive and the world's still spinning. Summer break is on its way, people everywhere (myself included) are getting vaccinated, and hopefully soon we'll be on our way back to normalcy.

I know that there are still three more weeks left until I take my finals, but considering that all the really exciting stuff is behind me, I figured I would go ahead and talk about what will go down as the strangest school year I've ever experienced.

If you've read any of my previous posts in which I talked about my college experience, then you'll know that I'm in my first year as a musical theatre major at the University of Central Missouri; I transferred here in the fall after receiving my AFA in theatre from State Fair Community College.

The transition was definitely strange, and for several reasons. Obviously the ongoing pandemic was a big one. I had just finished about four months of online learning when I started classes here, so it was weird being on a campus again, especially with all the COVID-19 restrictions. It was also strange because I had to adapt to another new environment that is bigger than the one with which I had previously grown familiar. It was just a really weird time to be a transfer student.

The fall semester was full of a lot of firsts. I started taking classes that weren't offered at the small community college I had transferred from, like dance and music theory classes. All classes were also adjusted to allow for social distancing, while some were completely virtual. Just about everything the department of theatre and dance did was done virtually, including the first mainstage production of the year. Despite how weird it all felt, it was a pretty great semester. I still got to act, and I received my second nomination for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship from KCACTF; I even advanced to the semifinal round. Despite it being a pretty good semester, it didn't come without its times of stress, so it was great to finally relax when the semester was over.

When the spring semester started, I knew that it was going to be overwhelming. I've had a pretty heavy workload this semester, and on top of that I started a new podcast with my friends that we record weekly. I also began working at the university's TV station as a student producer for a bi-weekly student-made program. It's been a lot to keep up with, and I've never felt more tired. I'm still staying positive though, no matter how stressful things may be right now.

It's safe to say that it's been an interesting school year. I've still got a few more semesters until I graduate, and I look forward to seeing what's in store, but I also really hope that things will be back to normal soon. I haven't performed live in over a year, and I miss it. Things are definitely looking up, and the university is preparing for things to go back to the way they were before the pandemic, so hopefully it won't be long before we get to return to the stage and perform for live audiences.

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