By Guest Blogger Emily Kottak, Sophomore at UNCC

Like many other aspects of life right now, college is very different. I am a sophomore at UNC Charlotte. I was having a great freshman year, but then in March we were sent home and weren’t able to return. I was home from mid March to the end of September. It was hard to have to adjust my life completely after finally getting used to college life and then having to pack up and leave it all behind for 7 months.

Then, after getting used to being at home again, we were able to return to campus. Unfortunately, after Thanksgiving break, we will be staying at home again until we return for spring semester towards the end of January. It’s difficult to have to keep adjusting my life every few months; as soon as I get comfortable, college changes again and I have to change with it.

For now, I’m trying to enjoy my time at college as much as I can. Being reunited with friends I haven’t seen in months has been so wonderful. Facetime and texting doesn’t compare to physically being with some of my best friends. Even though I’m able to be with some of my favorite people, college itself is looking very different.

First of all, most of my classes are online. While I’ve gotten fairly used to online classes it doesn’t compare to being able to interact with classmates and professors. If I need to ask a professor a question it usually has to be over email and it’s not always a quick response.

Meeting new people is also harder since I can’t interact with as many people. UNC Charlotte is a very pretty campus, so walking to class was enjoyable because I got to get some fresh air and take in the view. Now I am typically in my dorm room or the library for class and it just isn’t the same.

I’m very grateful to be back though. I readjusted to college life very well and I’ve been really enjoying myself. It’s going to be very hard to have to leave again.

The biggest thing that has helped me is making a routine. Consistency is key during such an uncertain time. I try to wake up around the same time every day and have been going to our wonderful gym facility several days a week to get in some exercise. I’ve also been attending group fitness classes with friends, particularly Pilates and yoga. This really helps me to destress. Keeping track of my assignments and to-do list in my planner has been crucial. With my routine I feel much more comfortable tackling each day since I know exactly what to expect.

Never in my life did I think I’d be home from college for 7 months because of a pandemic. I’m ready for life to return to normal so college can be as it once was. A lot has changed but I am trying to remain grateful for what I do have in the meantime. This season has taught more than anything to go with the flow and to be able to adjust easily, even when it is difficult to do.

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