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Reflecting on My Last First Day of Undergrad

The day before the first day of my senior year, my Emory friends and I had our weekly group Facetime call. We talk about our days and what we had been up to before reminiscing on when we first met freshman year in our hall. We had known each other for three years and excitedly went to our first day of freshman year together. Now we are all separated due to the pandemic and not reconvening to experience our final year of undergrad together in person.

I went into my first year at Emory knowing the time would fly by and I would be walking for graduation before I realized. I stressed about my schedule and was utterly confused about add/drop/swap that first few weeks. All these classes and the learning curve to navigate my shopping cart and which professor to take were my main concerns. I remember calling my mom stressed out about what class to take and what to drop. She told me it would work out and to relax and do what I can handle. Now with senior status, I don’t have to fight for classes. I can have most of my first choices easily. Now I begin my final year longing onto my computer for my first day from my home 700 miles away from Emory. It barely feels like a first day, but it is; an odd one, but a first day nonetheless.

Usually, we like to catch up over dinner at one of your apartments to share about our summers and our first days. The joy of seeing each other after months of only phone calls and texts is incomparable. The relative easiness of add/drop/swap grants us all more time to spend with each other before the grind of the semester. 

This year, the small things I enjoyed about being on campus, will be sorely missed. Studying in the library with my friends with sudden breaks with bouts of laughter and the craziness as the night continued on and the madness from “studying” for so long takes over. I’ll miss bumping into a friend as I rush to my next class or grabbing a bite to eat with someone new. We had planned so many things to do together. The places we wanted to go for each other’s birthdays and spots in Atlanta we wanted to visit before we graduated. The traditions we had begun freshman year and wouldn’t get to do together once more. 

Despite this unconventional year, I have to move forward and make the best of what I have. I still cling to the hope that spring semester will be in-person if everyone observed proper social distancing and wore masks, but if that is not possible, the one thing I would wish for would be to hang out with my friends on Emory’s campus one last time.


Wardha Mowla 
Human Health
Chicago, IL

This article was originally published on the Odyssey website. It has been republished here in-full with the author’s permission. Read the original article by visiting:

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