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The Murray State News

The Class of 2024

How the Covid-19 pandemic affected our time at Murray State
Scottlynn Ballard
Mason Galemore, left, and Ben Overby take a break during their journalism capstone class after they discussed their 2020 freshmen year experience with Scottlynn Ballard

Spring marks the start of many things, most notably, graduation season. For many seniors in college, May is a bittersweet month. On one hand, it marks the final chapter of student life. On the other hand, it also marks the start of their professional careers. 

This year, however, graduation may feel especially touching. The graduating class of 2024 has gone through a lot, to say the least. Computer screens and drive-through processions marked the end of our high school lives. We welcomed our freshmen and sophomore years with masks, social distancing and searching for a new normal with a new virus, COVID-19. 

During my first semester, here at Murray State, we had to write letters to our future selves in Journalism, Mass Media, Communications (JMC) Transitions class. That’s the freshman course that introduced incoming JMC majors to life on campus. Now, most of these letters won’t hit our inbox until next week, but we did leave a few words to describe what would be in them.

When we started Transitions back in 2020, there were 37 JMC majors and minors in that original class, myself included.  

Mason Galemore, senior journalism major, said he wouldn’t change a thing.

“If you go back to a certain time in your life and say, ‘Oh, I wouldn’t change anything,’ yeah, you would,” Galemore said. “I think you’d forget some of the small things. You know, I think I would probably forget some of the friendships that I had. Or I would forget those small decisions that I made. What I thought were small decisions, but they’re actually pretty decisive.”

Galemore said COVID taught him how to apply grace to himself.

“We were always thinking like, is this pandemic gonna get worse as the world’s gonna end within a year?” Galemore said. “And I was thinking, my 2020 kind of bad luck would end with me dropping out of college. And by the time I got to December of 2020, the end of my first semester at Murray State, I realized, ‘Oh, I can actually do this.’ After a month of being at Murray State, I called my parents and I was like, ‘Is it supposed to be this easy?’”

No one can picture the future. Not perfectly. But to see how far we’ve come from where we began? Well, I think that’s pretty neat. 

Ben Overby, senior television production major, agreed that the pandemic was a strange time.

Unique periods of our lives just because it was so unthinkable at the time that it was just a worldwide pandemic,” Overby said. “It’s just an odd thing. And, you know, it was terrible in a lot of ways, but it’s a lot of time for self reflection, too.” 

The graduating class of 2024 is a unique experience unto itself. There’s no one in our lives that can say they endured the same things we did or made the same choices out of it that we would. All in all, I’d like to say congratulations to us. Congratulations to you.

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Scottlynn Ballard, Contributing writer

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