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The Path Forward

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Madison Harakles '21

Madison Harakles is a General Psychology Major and Performing Arts Minor in the Traditional Undergraduate Class of 2021. When the pandemic hit over a year ago in the spring semester of her junior year, she initially couldn’t comprehend how serious it would become.

Madison Harakles is a General Psychology Major and Performing Arts Minor in the Traditional Undergraduate Class of 2021. When the pandemic hit over a year ago in the spring semester of her junior year, she initially couldn’t comprehend how serious it would become.

“I think that had I known that this pandemic was going to become the new reality for the next year (and likely more) I would’ve been more afraid. However I just couldn’t comprehend that something like that could ever happen, which is how I was probably able to manage my fear around it.”

Right before Bay Path transitioned to fully remote learning, Madison was in the middle of the busiest semester of her college career. Balancing a full course load, a lead role in the musical, and several club board positions, she was relieved to learn things would be slowing down for a bit. Madison quickly realized to be careful what you wish for as a life of online learning, little socialization, and lots of free time proved to have its challenges as well. Switching to interactions dependent on email and Zoom was a big shift, but now she has adopted these modes of communication as part of her daily routine. As one of the ninety-five students that chose to live on campus this semester, she now feels grateful to have more in-person interactions.

“Since I returned to campus, I get so excited to see folks in person, especially professors. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does I always feel hopeful that someday we will be able to interact regularly again.”

Even before returning to campus, Madison felt supported by all of her professors as they offered one-on-one Zoom check-ins and made appropriate adjustments to assignments during difficult times. After over a year of working and learning virtually, she considers the flexibility in her schedule as a positive aspect of the pandemic, especially as we enter the spring season. “Without having to attend classes in person, there is more time during the day to enjoy the nice weather!”

With the last few semesters of her time at Bay Path involving many sacrifices, Madison is determined to make her next step in her education what she envisions it to be. Her goal is to attend graduate school in person and begin working towards her PhD in Clinical Psychology.

“I feel like as an aspiring therapist, it is important to continue to practice interpersonal skills. While we saw a rise in online therapy during the pandemic, there are a lot of weaknesses, and I do not foresee that in my future practice.”

Along with determining her professional goals, she has learned valuable life lessons during the pandemic and rediscovered some of her passions. With the extra free time on her hands, Madison learned the value of slowing down and spending time doing hobbies that she enjoys. “I fell back in love with reading, and even took up mountain biking!”
Madison’s advice to future students is: “Get involved! And start your Honors thesis early.”


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