Poyer: Let’s talk my first ‘normal’ year of college

Columnist Sarah Poyer reflects on the happiness of heading into a “normal” year. 

Sarah Poyer

My class has been through a lot since we started college in August 2019. We got one normal semester of college, then we got thrown into the middle of a pandemic. 

I still remember the day we got told we were going to have a two week spring break. It was exciting — I was going to get to be in Mexico for this extended time. Then I traveled to Mexico; my brother and I had the time of our lives. We went to the beach every day, and I got to read in the sun, soaking up every moment of vitamin D, sea air and happiness. 

The day my mom and all of my friends texted me that we weren’t coming back, I remember being so sad. I was so upset. My freshman year was ruined. It was an unparalleled experience of sadness and anxiety. We got forced into doing classes from our childhood bedrooms. It was honestly so awful.

I remember struggling through the transition with my chemistry professor. He seemed to be struggling just as much as we were. Teaching to a screen was nowhere near as exciting as teaching to a full lecture hall in Gilman. It made me sad. 

My sophomore year was also very stressful, still no normal. I have only had one in-person class since my first semester. It was a once-a-week class that met Mondays. I enjoyed the in-person interaction — seeing people other than my roommate was so nice. 

While I have enjoyed most of my time at Iowa State, I have deeply missed in-person classes, the excitement of being on campus and the hustle and bustle of it all. I am so ready for it all. 

So, needless to say, I am so excited for this upcoming school year. Returning to whatever normal we are walking into is so exciting for me. Getting to spend time in the library studying with my best friends, drinking coffee from Bookends until 2 a.m., going to football games and Dance Marathon in January are all things I am looking forward to. Hearing cheering from Jack Trice and seeing full buildings filled with faces. 

I know my class is not the only one suffering from the pandemic. My heart feels for all of the seniors who missed out on so much, and for the freshmen who haven’t had any normalcy. I see you and my heart goes out to you. 

The excitement I have for us in this upcoming year is unprecedented. Cherish all of the memories you get to make these next few years as we approach our new normal. I know we are still experiencing anxiety heading into the unknown, but have faith that it will be okay. Take risks and make memories with what you can experience. 

Take these unprecedented times and turn them into your next adventure.