As I’m sure you’ve heard so many times at this point, no one would’ve expected this semester to have been the way it was over a year ago. I keep getting old memories coming up on my phone from a year ago, and it constantly reminds me how different everything is now and how much my life, especially at USC, has changed. Since I’ve finally (almost) finished my finals, I’ve had some time to think back on my unexpected fall semester of my junior year.

For starters, I had my housing plans fall through at the last minute, and ended up living with some people I didn’t know super well. I was worried that this could go horribly wrong, considering I’d be spending nearly all of my time with them in a small space (while my apartment is supposed to fit six people, it’s definitely a bit cozy). However, I was lucky enough to get along super well with my roommates, and I’ve grown super close to them in the short 13 week semester we spent together. Being in the middle of a pandemic where you can only really hang out with each other really lets you get close to the people you live with.

The adjustment to being fully online was not easy, and I definitely still struggle with this. Especially with the shortened semester, everything felt so rushed, and I felt very overwhelmed at times with the work. However, I was fortunate enough to have some professors and TA that were very understanding of this, and were understanding if an assignment had to be turned in a little late, and were often very accommodating with exam conditions, like allowing us to use notes and take it during a larger time window.

There is also so much in the fall semester that I had been looking forward to that I didn’t get to experience. Game days were always a highlight, and while I didn’t get to spend them at the coliseum like I would have wanted, my roommates and I made the best of virtual game days by spending them at outdoor restaurants that played the game on a big TV for everyone to watch.

Looking towards next semester, I’m hoping things will get better, but I don’t want to get my hopes up. I definitely miss going onto campus for my classes, but for now I’ll just need to keep on going with online learning. While so much has changed and I feel like I’m missing out on a lot of my college experience, I’m also very grateful to still be healthy, and still have people around me in my home that make this experience slightly more normal and fun!

Olivia Morse

Olivia Morse

MAJOR: Environmental Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Danville, California PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @livv_morse I'm on the E-Board of USC's chapter of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, and I'm also involved in the Society of Women in Engineering and American Society of Civil Engineering. I am also a member of Greek life.