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May at The Mount

Kayla Cooper

Mount St. Mary's University Bradley View

It is May at the Mount, and finals officially begin tomorrow! Some students are scrambling to absorb as much information as they can for exams, while others are speedily typing away at (seemingly) never ending essays. As an English and Communication double major, I happen to fall into the latter category, and can genuinely say that the writing feels excruciatingly infinite.

Phillips Library Third FloorNo matter how these finals take form, it is safe to say that it’s a stressful time for the Mount community, and that doesn’t exclude professors (those finals have to get graded somehow!) I for one will argue that this usually busy time is unusually all the more difficult, given the challenges that we’ve endured due to COVID.

Having completed an entire academic year (and some change) during this pandemic, I’m afraid that our Mount community, and higher education as a whole, has faced a very real and difficult collective trauma. I’ve had my fair share of personal hardships during this time, as well as academic set backs. There is no denying that college, let alone finals, are all the more difficult to endure with the external stressors that COVID brings to the table.

However, having said this, I am all the more impressed with the resilience our Mountain home has shown. When taking a closer look at this past year, we’ve accomplished an incredible feat! As a community, we’ve adapted to social distancing and mask wearing, utilized new and successful mediums for education (all thanks to Zoom), and managed to safely hold on-campus living in the midst of a pandemic. A year ago today, I wouldn’t have thought this to be possible!

Despite our accomplishments, there have been set backs. Some students and faculty are feeling overwhelmed, burntPeace Plaza out, and disheartened. Even with vaccines and herd immunity on the horizon, these mental health issues are still very much real and impactful. These feelings, compounded with the more tangible challenges the pandemic presents, are bound to make the end of this academic year all the more strenuous.

So, what does this mean for the Mount? Well, the way I see it, is that we have to keep true to what the Mount values and strives to do for its community. Now more than ever, we have to be patient with one another during this time, and in doing so, be kind. We have to be compassionate and lenient; despite living through the pandemic for a year, this is still a difficult time. At the end of the day, we simply have remember to be there for one another.

Stay strong during these last few weeks of the semester, Mounties, and good luck with finals! Remember, we are a community; let’s lean on one another during the final stretch of this difficult academic year (metaphorically speaking, and from a distance!)

As always, thank you for reading. Be sure to check out this week’s content from the other My View of MSMU bloggers! For more insight on Mental Health Awareness, head on over to Cara's blog!

Kayla Cooper