Looking forward with GCU: Graduating with our Seniors and Returning to Campus with our Undergrads

By Victoria Smith

As the past year of online learning ends, Georgian Court students and faculty are looking to the future. Our seniors are looking to cross the graduation stage with their degree in hand, our undergrads are looking to return to campus with faculty and friends, and our incoming freshman are ready to represent the Blue and Gold Lions. We look to the future and see a world of endless possibilities on and off Campus.

I had the chance to speak with senior Erin White about her experience at GCU. Erin stated that, “coming to GCU was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I changed my major to social work and with the help of my amazing advisors, I was still able to graduate a year early! Every class at Georgian Court has such a family feel, you really get to know your family and professors…. With everything the social work department has given me, I know I will be able to reach my goals. I have never felt as supported by teachers as I did my social work professors! I cannot wait to see what my future holds because GCU has given me the tools to shoot for the stars.”

Erin is graduating this year and is headed to Monmouth University to continue in the field of social work for her master’s degree where she will graduate May of 2022. In ten years, she hopes to be a licensed clinical social worker in her own therapy practice.

I also had the chance to speak with senior Erica Caleca about her four years at GCU. Erica is an English major with a minor in Criminal Justice; during her four years, she was a WILD Peer Advisor and a member of the Criminal Justice Club. When asked about her four years at GCU, Erica stated, “I think I had a really great time at GCU; I enjoyed the teachers and classes that I’ve taken over the last four years. I think there isn’t any school like Georgian Court – there’s a nice feeling walking on campus and seeing all these familiar faces. That’s something I miss, seeing everyone.”

GCU undergrads are looking forward to in person interaction where they can attend events, classes, and find a way to connect with other students on a personal level. Returning to campus this upcoming fall is more exciting this year than years previous. Some students will be entering their senior year and making the most of each moment that they will have left at Georgian Court’s campus while others will be taking their first ever steps on campus after spending their first year as a lion within the virtual classroom.

Some undergrads are excited for the events that different clubs have to offer such as the Fall dance, Welcome back week, and Homecoming weekend. Other students are excited for the chance to study with friends within the library and eat on campus with their friends in the Court Café or Dining Hall. Students are also excited to have the opportunity to travel abroad for classes and breaks throughout the fall and spring semesters.

Some students are worried about the transition from virtual to in person after spending nearly three semesters behind a screen. Similarly, students are also concerned with how Georgian Court will handle safety measures and navigating the campus itself. We each need to pull together and do our part to make sure that when we return to campus, it is one of the best, if not the best year we have had at Georgian Court.

Georgian Court students collectively agreed that the past year was stressful and hard. The students stressed over classes, maintaining friendships, and their personal lives being impacted as the pandemic continues to occur throughout the world. While reflecting on the past year, Georgian Court students were able to find lessons that they will carry throughout the rest of their life.

To our graduating seniors, we wish you luck in your future wherever that may take you. We hope that you look back on your years at Georgian Court and smile for the memories and friendships that you have made.

For our returning students, we welcome you back with open arms and hope that you are ready to be in the classroom again. We look forward to your events and seeing you in person instead of behind a screen.

For our faculty, we look forward to making connections with you and experiencing your classes the way they were intended. We welcome each Lion, returning, new, and graduating, back with open arms and cannot wait to see your smiling faces in August.

Until we meet again Lions, stay safe and remember you always have a home here at Georgian Court University.

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