At the beginning of the year, I wrote about my long distance relationship with Athens. I had been away all summer, and I could not wait to come back to enjoy the many lasts with my friends in a town I love so much.

Now, my time as a senior at Ohio University, as well as many others', has been cut short. 

It’s a sad, frustrating and scary time for everyone. As the cases in Ohio continue to grow and more precautions take hold, all Ohio University students understand why decisions were made to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, it also means a lot of things will be missed by Athens residents and OU students — from classes being moved online to Fest Season being canceled. 

Underclassmen are feeling sadness as they move out of their dorm and return to their hometown. Freshmen have just adjusted to being away from home, making friends and enjoying the freedom of college. Sophomores and juniors lost precious time at OU. but they still have the chance to make up for it next year. 

Seniors are left with many questions about what the future holds. The remainder of senior year was meant to be a time of celebration; our last class and exams, crossing off our bucket lists and partying at our last fests. Now, seniors might not have the same graduation day that we have been working hard for the past four years since OU postponed spring commencement

Last spring semester, many seniors celebrated many events that we did not know would be our last in Athens. We did not know our we before spring break would be the last time some of us would have a college experience. 

I complained about waking up for my classes and the homework for each one. I complained about the many meetings and late nights I had at The Post. Looking back, it was these moments that made up the many things I loved about Ohio University and The Post.

I liked my schedule of classes. Each of my professors held meaningful discussion that made me want to go to class each day and be excited to learn. It gave me enough time for The Post, school work and some free time for myself. 

As for The Post, I hosted my last daily budget meeting. I hosted my last weekahead. I hosted my last all-staff meeting. It was those times of the week and semester that all of our staff would be all together in one room. We would discuss content for the day, ideas, problems or just share some moments from our day.

Our Wednesday night late nights will not be the same. Each week, we would sit in the design room, swapping computers to edit and PDF pages. We took breaks from the newsroom to walk and get snacks from Cafe Bibliotech. We had a Spotify late night playlist and YouTube videos on queue on a loop in the background to keep our energy up for the long night. Whether we left the newsroom at 10 p.m. or 3 a.m. having completed the paper, we woke up the next day feeling tired but proud of what we accomplished. 

I will miss our end of the year celebrations. I will miss seeing The Post’s staff for next year be hired and trained. I will miss our squirrel awards, senior send offs and passing along the MVP belt to another Postie. 

I did not think the week before spring break would be the last time I would have that opportunity for things that just seemed to be a part of my everyday life. It feels like I took the time for granted while I had it.

It has not quite fully hit me yet that I won’t have the senior semester I always dreamt of having, and I know all seniors are feeling the same way. 

When I make my drive back to Athens later this week, I am preparing myself for the shock over how much it has changed from the last time I was there. I understand the precautions that were made and will continue to practice them. However, it won’t be able to stop the sadness I feel for my time in Athens to not be the same for what I was hoping it would be.  

Ellen Wagner is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University and the editor-in-chief of The Post. Have questions? Email Ellen at ew047615@ohio.edu or tweet her @ewagner19.