First-year pharmacy was a big adjustment and I entered the program two weeks after everyone else. Coming into the program and seeing everyone in their established groups and cliques was really intimidating and having missed events, like Phrosh week, that everyone was talking about made me feel lonelier. On top of that, my main priority was playing catching up on what I missed which made it even harder to make friends.  

Then once I finally felt like I was starting to find my place, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and everyone went their separate ways. Switching to online school was a big adjustment for me, but being at home with my family brought me some comfort. I was able to spend time with my grandmother who was very ill before she unfortunately passed away. This was probably the death in my family that affected me the most and being away from my closest friends, and coming to terms with the fact that I hadn’t established enough of a relationship with anyone in pharmacy to reach out, made it harder. 

I don’t think I ever felt so alone in my life.  

With finals quickly approaching, I found myself struggling to balance grieving and studying. While reviewing my notes, I couldn’t focus so I would try to take a break. I’d try to watch something on Netflix and it seemed like I was just looking through my laptop, not processing anything. I reached out to my advisors about my particular situation. I realized I couldn’t just push my emotions to the side so I could study. I needed to get through finals, but I also needed to understand the grieving is not linear. I had to learn my limits and not push myself too hard. If I felt like I couldn’t focus, then I’d talk to someone and just let the emotions out. After talking to someone, I found it easier to focus. I just had to get through that week and a half of finals so I could focus on myself, my well-being and just be with family. I quickly learned that grieving comes in waves and it’s important to let yourself go through that process and do it on your own time. And it’s okay if all you did was just survive. 

- 2nd year Pharmacy student 


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