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A Thank You Letter To The Classmate Who Helped Me Survive A Year Of Virtual Learning

It was the beginning of 2020 and I wasn’t looking forward to anything. Before meeting you, I was miserable with the friendships I had, devastated about the program I studied, and scared to interact with other people. Not before long, my heart told me that I needed a change—an alteration from the rigid environment that consumed me. I listened and acted upon desire. I switched schools, selected a field that I knew nothing about, and ended up saying “hello” to you.

It was cold on the first day. I had to wake up and say goodbye to my bedroom at 5 a.m. Class was three hours later, and in order to prepare, I made tea, stuffed some lettuce between two pieces of bread, and wished myself the best of luck for surviving my first day at the new school. The January, Canadian winters proved to be a hassle for students in the dark, ghastly mornings.

It was supposedly a boring and challenging class as well—yes, it was accounting. When I arrived in the classroom, I headed to the back row. I wanted to disguise myself and hide from others. But when you arrived a few minutes later, all of that changed.

It was a significant moment that I never thought about at first. You greeted me, and we started conversing. We talked about our passions and our hobbies. And funny enough, we both wanted to choose a media program but picked the fashion program instead.

The moment I knew we clicked was when we had to present in front of the whole class. Our instructor suggested we continue our conversation and share what we discussed. I didn’t know much about you, but I told the students about your pet dog and your passions for photography and makeup. And while you were introducing me, I thought, this girl seems like a true friend.

But who knew that this discussion would actually lead to a trusting friendship?

Soon enough, we discovered that we shared three classes together. After our morning accounting class, we headed downstairs for visual merchandising. Before we knew it, the instructor announced that we would have to choose our own group members for the final project. Since I only knew you and another classmate, I decided to add the both of you in my group.

Soon enough, we became close friends and focused on completing the project together. We did what close friends would do, whether that would be walking around campus or going to the nearest shopping mall. Remember the day after the world of fashion class? We walked 30 minutes to a local clothing store, while stressing over our courses.

Soon enough, we introduced each other to a world filled with art, ranging from makeup to photography. All of us were inspired by different places and concepts, which ranged from clothing shops to photoshoots. We even planned some fun ideas for future photoshoots with models.

But soon enough, the unexpected happened. Although the cycle of going to class, working on a group project, and catching up with each other’s events continued for a short moment, we never expected a pandemic to pull us apart. By mid-March, all of the students were sitting at home, logging into Blackboard, and trying to complete tasks on time. Indeed, the grueling moments could never be forgiven.

But as friends, we stood beside one another.

Together, we motivated each other to finish our classes. We informed each other about upcoming deadlines and new projects and worked towards completing each semester. School had been far from easy, and we knew it. We complained but we never gave up.

Together, we pushed through the difficulties that strangled us and emerged as warriors. We continued to work as partners for online group projects and encouraged each other. We stood side by side, and knew that we couldn’t take any chances. And at the end, I could say we were successful in accomplishing our goals.

Together, we were a pair. We were not only friends at school, but friends for life. Sure, the term ‘sisters’ could also be used. But this friendship, for me, is special not only in terms of academics but also for emotional and mental support. Throughout difficult times, we continued to side with one another, as we were an unbreakable team—unlike the other previous friendships I had.

Looking back, I was glad that you were the first person I met on the first day of school. You taught me so many things and helped me crack a joke throughout the challenges I faced. I smiled more, laughed more, and enjoyed my experience in school more just because of you.

Looking back, I realized how far we had come. From dark mornings to bad professors, we experienced and achieved it all. Time flew, and I couldn’t believe where we landed.

We only have only one semester left after December. This means that only one more shot is left to finish this program, and only a few more classes are remaining for us to experience. Since school is still online, I don’t know what will happen and I’m unsure of the challenges we’ll face. But regardless of what, let’s remain as a team. I believe that we’ll free ourselves from this mess. Even when facing the most difficult challenges, I know we can do it, and I know we’ll obtain that diploma in our hands, regardless if online or on stage.

So, to my friend who’s in this journey with me: Let’s continue to fight on, and share more memories.

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