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Students’ Reflections on the End of the Semester

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Brian Luppy/Villanovan Photography.
As the semester comes to a close, students look ahead to winter break.

With less than a week of classes remaining and final exams looming, the first semester of the 2023-2024 academic year is drawing to a close. For students, this conclusion may spark a variety of feelings: the joy of accomplishing semester-long goals and projects, the bittersweet departure from beloved professors, the relief as stress-inducing classes end and the anxiety as final exams begin. 

Throughout these past months, students have navigated through many challenging and rewarding experiences and should be proud of themselves for doing so. From freshmen adjusting to their first semester away from home to some seniors accomplishing an early graduation, every achievement warrants celebration. As Villanovans prepare to manage the home stretch of the calendar year, they should take pride in their dedication and hard work. 

Reflecting on the semester, students may remember the many significant events that were critical in shaping the beginning of this school year: Cova’s adoption of a GrubHub-sponsored ordering process, a rain-soaked Family Weekend, Rick Ross’s Hoops Mania performance, hosting the prestigious Opus Prize, and recently, the first snow. These moments– combined with countless others– contributed to a memorable semester and defined the Villanova experience for many students, faculty and staff.

“My favorite part of the semester was Special Olympics,” sophomore Brynne Taranto said. “I was a member of the Inclusion Crew for the flag football team, and I had so much fun. It was awesome to see the whole community come together for that weekend, from the sports games to O-Town to the ceremonies.”

Freshman Tatum Chang, a Local Program Host for Special Olympics, also found that this weekend was her favorite part of the semester. “I’ve never experienced anything like [Fall Fest] before, and being an LPH was so much fun,” she said. “I loved getting to interact with the athletes, cheer at their games, and build friendships with them. It was an incredibly rewarding experience.” 

Junior Jenny Vukel enjoyed her first semester living on West Campus. “My favorite part of the semester was getting to live with my roommates. They are my best friends, and it was so fun to spend a lot of time with them living on West.”

Many students are looking forward to the beginning of a new semester and all that comes with the fresh start: new year’s resolutions, different classes, and a general change of pace as the end of the school year starts to become within reach.

“I am so excited for spring on campus,” Taranto said. “I can’t wait for warm weather so I can spend more time outside hanging out with friends.”

Many freshmen, as they round out their first year at college, look forward to continuing to experience new things on campus. 

“Next semester, I’m looking forward to meeting more people and getting more comfortable on campus,” Chang said. “Now that it’s been a little while, I feel way more settled into college life, so now I am excited to branch out and get more involved around campus.”
The next semester will also allow some students to try new things academically. Vukel is excited to progress in her studies as a nursing student. 

“I am looking forward to starting my new clinical rotations for nursing next semester,” she shared.

As the fall semester comes to a close, many students feel a sense of achievement, thankfulness, and nostalgia. When reflecting on these past months, remember the victories, both big and small, you have achieved, the new friendships you have forged and the growth you have accomplished in your courses. January promises the onset of more adventures, learning and fun: all hallmarks of a successful school year.



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