Senior Success: Emma Kiely ’21, psychology major, reflects on her senior pandemic experience
Editor’s Note: SALVEtoday is celebrating the Class of 2021’s Senior Week with specially curated content Monday, May 3 through Friday, May 7. Senior Week will be devoted to sharing special Senior Success stories and other content relevant to the Class of 2021. Check back each day to read stories about Salve Regina’s incredible seniors. For more Class of 2021 stories, go here.
Over the summer, Emma Kiely ’21 is volunteering in an adolescent inpatient psychiatric unit at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. In the fall, she will attend Boston College to pursue her master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. She someday aspires to obtain her doctorate in clinical psychology and practice as a licensed clinical psychologist treating children, teens and service members/veterans with anxiety disorders and PTSD.
“I cannot speak highly enough of the psychology faculty. Each of them are so encouraging and highly competent in their respective areas of expertise,” Kiely said. “Psychology is a very broad field with a lot of sub areas, yet Salve luckily offers a wide array of course offerings that allow you to explore.”
As to being a senior accomplishing an entire academic year during a pandemic, it was something that Kiely could’ve never anticipated when she started her college journey. However, she said that the past year has taught her two life lessons: the importance of human connection and adaptability.
She described the ways she learned these lessons in her own words here:
“When the pandemic first began, we were second semester juniors …. Rather than spending our Friday and Saturday nights in Downtown Newport, we were now back in our childhood bedrooms completing virtual classes that had once been in person.
“It quickly became very evident that we had been taking many of our interpersonal relationships for granted. Gone were the days of laughing at a table in O’Hare over morning bagels and cups of coffee with friends, and arrived were the days of virtual meetings over FaceTime, Zoom and WebEx. We were very lucky to have been able to return to campus this past fall; however, I still think everyone naturally misses being able to walk around and see other community members smiling back at us (unmasked, that is).
“The silver lining to this experience is the recognition of the importance of adaptability: I believe the Salve community has done the best they can in light of the pandemic. Whether it be administrators organizing our much desired in-person graduation or student leaders continuing club events and meetings despite a long list of new restrictions, Salve community members have risen above many of the obstacles placed before us in the past year in order to maintain the strongest sense of community possible under the circumstances.
While these circumstances may not be ideal, I really think faculty, staff and students have come together to make the best of the situation we have been given.”
Senior Success is part of Salve Success — a series of student success stories periodically featured on SALVEtoday. Check out the tag Salve Success for more student stories. For more Class of 2021 stories, go here.