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Nicole Gagliardi in front of the Old Well.
Nicole Gagliardi

If you asked me year ago what I thought would be happening right now, being right in the middle of a global pandemic would have been the last thing I would have told you. As a current senior year at UNC, has been nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster. I knew before I even officially enrolled at Carolina that leaving it would be one of the hardest things to do. What I didn’t know was that leaving entailed being sent an email from Housing and being told we had to move out by April 1st, causing my family and boyfriend to scramble and move out of the room I planned on calling my “home away from home” for the next month and a half.

I’ve been at home for almost a month now, and my school routines have shifted instantaneously from walking almost every day through the beautiful Quad to making sure I have the Zoom meeting codes for each class correct. I almost feel guilty for wishing for Spring Break to arrive as soon as it did, because had I known “Spring Break” would turn into an indefinite quarantine, I would have willed time to stop. It’s been difficult, I won’t lie. I’m taking one of the hardest classes of my college career, a class about programming for processing language, and finishing my minors and major while sitting on my living room couch and trying to maintain the school mindset has created a very confusing headspace. I love spending time with my parents, don’t get me wrong; it’s still hard to not feel as though “this isn’t how it should’ve ended.”

From a pragmatic perspective, I actually feel like school has become easier; with many of my professors pre-recording lectures and having more open due dates, I’ve felt less stress that comes with looming deadlines, and it has been rather interesting and fun to have more flexibility with your schedule.

From an emotional perspective, it’s almost become harder. Maybe if I were an underclassman, I’d have the reassurance that this is only temporary and that I’d be back soon. But in a typical “bury your head in the sand” fashion, I’ve falsely convinced myself that if I procrastinate as long as possible and avoid it until the last minute, I won’t have to face that truth of how our senior year is wrapping up.

I remember in a previous blog post, I wrote about singers’ skillful use of articulation and diction, and now I find myself never really getting the words out correctly when I talk about this.

There’s two things I know for certain: the silver lining is certainly that the classes of 2020 will have a unique story that will be remembered long after our would-have-been graduation day. Second, while I’m protecting myself from the virus that started this all, I’ll forever be bleeding blue from Carolina’s infectious charm. I’m so grateful for all the people I’ve met, the friends and memories made, and to the Department of Music staff (pun intended- did you think I could write another blog post without a pun?) for their endless support and kindness, and for this wonderful opportunity.

And, no matter the circumstances, it’s always a great day to be a Tar Heel.

By Nicole Gagliardi

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