This school year has definitely been filled with its ups and downs. It started with a lot of uncertainty in the air since everyone was sent home the past semester, then became happier as activities returned to campus and vaccines became available to the public. As the school year winds down, Missouri Western students reflected on the wild ride of last two semesters.

In spring of 2020, Guthrie Ziebarth was the secretary of The Wildlife Society here on campus. When spring break got extended and classes got moved online, The Wildlife Society was not able to hold elections for the upcoming school year. Ziebarth and the rest of the executive board resumed their positions in the Fall of 2020 until proper elections could be held. 

“It was quite a bit different, sure we were in-person-ish, everyone’s together but six feet apart and everything’s different,” Ziebarth stated. “But for us in the wildlife society, we didn't have a lot going on for it compared to normal years. Besides the people spread out and in bigger lecture halls, it was about the same personally.” 

Someone in a similar situation as Ziebarth is his friend Josiah Boothe. Boothe was the treasurer for the wildlife society for the 2019-2020 school year. He learned many lessons this year that he did not have problems with in previous years, one of them being how to keep yourself busy.  

“Perseverance and learning how to stay busy was a big lesson I learned,” Boothe said. “Like we said earlier, there wasn’t a lot going on for the wildlife society and that’s how we stayed and evolved. Because of the weirdness of COVID and figuring out the elections in a timeline that we hadn't had before. I also had to quarantine right at the beginning and that was hard too.” 

It’s not just members of the wildlife community who are dealing with the changes this past year has brought. Everyone is dealing with something and the added pressure of a global pandemic is sure to add some stress. After a five year break from college, Morrigan Severs was new to Missouri Western this year and didn’t know what to expect. 

“I didn’t know being a non-trad student would be so difficult. Trying not to go too crazy on school nights while meeting new people was a challenge,” Severs explained. “The friends that I made are amazing, they just don’t have the same schedule as me so finding the right balance between seeing them, and getting my schoolwork done was kinda difficult in the beginning. I have it down now and we have homework day every Sunday to get ready for the upcoming week.”

Overall, this school year has been challenging but has also had it’s rewards. Students are moving on with their lives while still being able to be involved in their former clubs. New students are still able to make new friends and have the opportunity to experience college life here in St. Joseph. 

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