First-year student bloggers: Almarie looks back on her first semester

Today we’ll hear from Almarie, looking forward to the spring after wrapping up an unusual first Fletcher semester:

The last time, that I shared my experiences with you guys, I talked about moving to Boston by January 1st. Sadly, due to COVID, I won’t move to Boston for a little while. I do have to say that it’s nice to stay away from the cold weather.

Almarie with Fletcher flagI struggle a bit to find something interesting and important to discuss  I, like many, have been contemplating the aftermath of last year while preparing myself to see what comes next. Coronavirus has made it quite difficult to study, connect, and enjoy our academic experiences. We are in a critical time in our lives. A time in which we may be educating ourselves yet feeling like “we aren’t truly learning.” I had plenty of those moments this year. Moments in which I wished for a Fletcher experience without the pandemic. But, I was lucky enough to have time to wish, to read, to breathe. I had the time to take my classes and be empowered with knowledge.

This semester my classes discussed gender, negotiation, humanitarian aid, and the international courts. My gender class and the negotiation class were exactly what I needed. For me, these are subjects that I know I’m interested in. Taking these two classes made my online experience so much more interesting and allowed me to reach deeper into my passions. I also had time to discuss topics in which I had no previous understanding. These topics that took me out of my comfort zone. It was all truly worth it. What I found most beneficial was that topics that I learned in one class could be applied to in all my other classes. In the international court class, I was truly surprised. It was one of those classes you take because you are interested in it, but you also refuse to go to law school. Granted,  maybe it was not a real reason to take a class. But what I found exciting: 1) I did make the right choice 2) What an amazing class yet such a complex topic. This class gave me so much more insight than I ever expected.

I dove into understanding a system that has so many loopholes. My humanitarian aid class was quite illuminating. This class taught me that one must have a great passion to work in the humanitarian system. It gave me an insight in the importance of not only understanding the crisis but taking the time to gather relevant data. Each class taught me so much. Even though it was an online semester, it was all worth it.

Fall 2020 was way more challenging than I ever dreamed. Zoom classes, meetings, networking events, and even game nights have made it all better. Professors and students alike have, in my experience, found ways to pass down knowledge that truly makes a difference. Even online, I have experienced the Fletcher community. I could connect with others, join student organizations, and I’m excited to say that I’m a Fletcher Admissions Ambassador.

It’s quite difficult for my brain to processes that I finished my first semester at Fletcher. This upcoming semester I will be taking Gender-Transitional States, Econ, Law of the Sea, and Peace Operations. I honestly cannot wait for the second semester to start and I’m thrilled to meet some of you in class, others in meetings, and hopefully all of you soon. Stay safe guys!

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