lone pine
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Hello all, I'm currently writing from my bedroom in our rental Boston apartment, realizing that this is the last time I'll be writing to you all from here. My last weekend in Boston is coming to a close, and I return to Virginia in three days before heading to Hanover for the spring (which I'm super excited for). 

Looking back on the past ten weeks here in Boston, I mostly feel grateful. I am lucky that in a pandemic, when campus accessibility is restricted, I'm able to still have an enjoyable term and have some semblance of a college experience. I have made some great memories with incredible people over the last few months, and I wouldn't have wanted this winter to unfold any differently. 

This winter was the first time I have lived fully independently. On campus, I was in a dorm building with a meal plan, resources at my fingertips, and halls full of other students around me. Here, in Boston, my two roommates and I were isolated in an apartment building of strangers. We cooked for ourselves, maintained a clean living space, and were fully on our own. This shift was slightly intimidating, but ended up working smoothly. I'm proud of the independence I've gained over this term, realizing that I can be self-sufficient when needed. 

Before coming to Boston, I was most apprehensive about taking remote classes, especially because I was taking four instead of three. In the fall, my classes were online, but I was still on campus with access to the library and other academic in-person resources. Being miles away from campus definitely took a slight toll on classes. Because I had no other resources or study spaces besides my own bedroom, the separation of in-class and at-home work ceased to exist. I sat at this same desk in my room for entire days, just working away. Some days were pretty bleak, but I know that this experience isn't unique. Students everywhere are suffering from this same issue, and I'm lucky that when I'm at Dartmouth, I have access to resources that definitely increase academic engagement. Online school is hard, regardless of institution. 

Overall, this experience has been incredibly rewarding. I've grown as a person and scholar in multiple ways, and I'm incredibly thankful that I was able to have this opportunity. I'm also excited to get out of the cold for a few weeks and take a break before things ramp up again in the spring. Talk to you all soon!

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