As the semester comes to an end, it is important that we look back and acknowledge how we survived our first semester back on campus after being isolated for almost two years, and we step into this “new reality.”
Almost two years ago, we received an email saying that our spring break would be extended two more weeks; after those two weeks passed, our lives changed forever. Our notifications were filled with breaking news of countries under lockdown, hospitals over capacity, and people fighting over toilet paper. This past year and a half have been filled with many transitions, with the fear of the unknown, illness, loss and grief. We had to adapt to a virtual world, to solitude, but mostly to hope.
I will not sugarcoat the tragedy that most of our population experienced, but I want to highlight how we tried to entertain ourselves at home to avoid insanity. How many of us started a Chloe Ting fitness challenge? How many tackled that To Be Read list, binged watched your favorite show, or engaged in quarantivities with your family to get along together? But mainly, how many of us were left alone in our heads to reevaluate life and ourselves?
The time we had alone with our thoughts served as a way of getting to know ourselves, and valuing our relationships, our interests and personalities. Even if you did not lose weight or read 20 books a month, you did something great; you kept going. You got to know yourself even more and realized what was most valuable for you and your growth as an individual. Maybe that friend you called your best friend was not the best support you had, and if you decided to cut that friendship, it is okay! You learned to do what is best for you.
This past year was a year of many changes for me as well. I got my first non-retail job and had the pleasure of working with incredible people as an undergraduate assistant for the Parking and Transportation department. I will be forever grateful for their encouragement to get out of my comfort zone and pursue opportunities that will benefit my goals.
Now, as I am finishing my first semester as The Prospector’s web editor, I know I made the right choice. It is common to fall into the comfort zone, and stay in what we already know, and the change of scenario helped me to burst out of my bubble of solitude. Connecting with other people my age, and the exposure to news, has helped me become aware of my surroundings after months of experiencing the world through the screen.
As the new web editor, I hope to help the student community engage with their campus and become aware of the opportunities to enjoy their college experience. It is important that we, as students, connect with our institution, especially during this recovery and readaptation process. So much potential is hidden inside each of us. I will continue working hard to showcase the reporters’ and photographers’ work on the website, so you can all appreciate the amazing job they do and relate to them.
I am here to serve the student community. That is why this semester, I have worked alongside the editors and directors to make the website more engaging for you. So, you can easily access all the stories that are happening around you and enjoy reading a newspaper. It is important, especially in times like these, that we stay in touch with the world, and be aware of everything that is happening around us. That is our main goal here at The Prospector, to provide the students with sound journalism.
I would like to thank Editor-in-chief Julian Herrera, and Assistant Director Tracy Roy for seeing potential in me and being patient as I adapted to this new-to-me world of journalism. I would also like to thank all editors, reporters and contributors for welcoming me in their team with open arms.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate every single student that persevered through these tough times and worked their way toward finishing this semester. To those graduating, I wish you nothing but the best in life. I am proud of you, and I am sure you will achieve great things in life. Keep working on your goals and dreams.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far can one go” – T.S. Eliot
Maria L. Guerrero Duran is the web editor and may be reached at [email protected]