“Hello! My name is Jennifer McGraw (she/her). I am a rising senior going for my Bachelor’s in Public Relations with a double minor in Sports Communication and Media and Journalism. Currently, I’m the features editor for The Whit, our student-run news publication. I’m the editor-in-chief for Rowan’s “Her Campus” chapter which is a women-curated online news publication. I’m also an on-air talent for Rowan Radio, which is a LOT of fun. And I’m the Vice President for the Beauty in Distress club here at Rowan. Outside of Rowan, I am a freelance journalist for the Newspaper Media Group, where I report on local events in the South Jersey/Greater Philadelphia area. I’ve also been fortunate enough to be a communications intern for the NFL Alumni Association. My aspiration is to become an NFL football analyst.”
This is how I started my discussion posts last semester.
This semester I’m online by choice so I would have time for my aforementioned extracurriculars and jobs. In person, I would probably shorten my introduction spiel to just highlight two or three events I’ve done this summer or what is upcoming this semester.
But, no matter how I introduced myself, in my in-person or online classes, nothing would have prepared me for actually getting acquainted with the life of Rowan University for the first time – yes, in my second year.
I transferred to Rowan University in the Fall of 2020. Yes, right smack in the middle of a pandemic. Only having one online summer class under my belt meant that I was as prepared as I could be for the coursework at my university. As a pandemic transfer, I had no real experience with college life at Rowan University until I started in the fall.
I didn’t know how lovely Rowan Boulevard would be or how many students I’d pass on my way to the student center. I wasn’t expecting to pass about 50 students on the way to the WGLS station, and better yet, pass 50 different students on the way to Enterprise Center for my class.
Due to transferring during the pandemic, I didn’t have the opportunity to make friends as soon as I hoped. I probably have a handful of friends that I made at Rowan. I’m grateful for each of them, but I know it’s because the pandemic created a social barrier. We are no longer as comfortable as we once were introducing ourselves or getting close to people physically.
Of course I was on campus during the summer. Once a week I would have my 4-hour radio show on Rowan Radio which was a blast. It was a Friday morning to afternoon, so obviously the fact that the show was on a Friday and during the summer meant that I wouldn’t see a lot of students, but it was normal. And that’s the key word: normal.
I haven’t had a “normal” college experience since the fall of my sophomore year at my community college and, by virtue, have not had a “normal” college experience at Rowan University.
So, how do I feel? I definitely feel excited to see what Rowan’s normal looks like. I’m excited to have, to some degree, a normal college experience again. I’m excited to meet friends, attend clubs, sports, and other activities in person. If this first week is any indication of how this semester – or this year – will go, then I am excited to see what Rowan is truly like.
I may have bit off more than I could chew by getting involved in all the clubs and activities I hold a position in this year, but I genuinely feel that I need to make the most out of this year because of the lost time during the pandemic. If that means any typical college student is stressed from his or her poor time management, I think it will be worth it.
To our freshmen who have missed out on irreplaceable high school events, to our sophomores who are officially going to have a normal college experience to some degree, our to juniors who are ready to experience the beauty of Rowan again after all the disruption, and to the seniors – transfer or not – this article is definitely for you. I can’t wait to see what this year has for us.
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