Appreciating the Little Things
Most seniors probably say their “senior spring” is bittersweet. I always expected mine to be. The last Family and Alumni Weekend, my last cross country meet, and senior traditions like Paint the Numbers and the Boxer/Bikini Run were events I knew I would cherish when the time came. But like so much over the last year, the pandemic took control of senior year. I can’t even begin to describe what this year has been like; bittersweet is now an understatement. I’ve always been resistant to change, but I expected most of the change to come my freshman year of college rather than my senior year of high school.
Coming back to campus this fall was, in a way, surreal. Everything seemed so familiar, but even as a senior, I felt a bit like a freshman at times. It was difficult to navigate the new COVID-19 protocols, and I missed my friends who decided to learn virtually. I was grateful to be back on campus but still craved the aspects of Mercersburg I loved that were not possible. Family-style meals, study sessions at One North, and big get-togethers in the dorm were events of the past. But eventually we adjusted to this new way of campus life, and I didn’t want to leave campus when November rolled around. While it wasn’t the exact same Mercersburg I yearned for last spring and summer, the core of the Mercersburg community was still there, and we created a great experience within the COVID-19 guidelines.
It was weird coming back to Mercersburg this spring. At this point, I felt like I had lived through two Mercersburg realities: pre-COVID and post-COVID. To be honest, I found it a little more difficult to get excited about returning to campus because I worried that there would be another new, strange Mercersburg waiting for me. I didn’t want to have to adjust again; I felt like I shouldn’t have to as a four-year senior, and part of me was still wishing for the senior year I was “supposed” to have. But as soon as we drove down Sycamore Lane when my parents dropped me off for the last time, I knew I was worried about nothing. All that mattered was that it felt like I was coming home.
The best way to approach my senior spring will be to appreciate the little things, the aspects of Mercersburg life that haven’t changed. We’ve lost a lot this year, but there’s still so much to look forward to: warm spring days, funny moments in the dorm, and spending time with friends outside with the carillon playing and trees in bloom. As I look forward to my last few months of being a student, I’m excited for Mercersburg, whatever it may look like. Despite all the changes and restrictions the community has faced this year, there is no doubt that the feeling of being on campus is the same; and I won’t take that feeling for granted in my last few months at Mercersburg.
Clara Getty ’21, of Allentown, PA, is a spring 2021 communications intern with Mercersburg's Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications. She lives in Swank Hall on campus.