By Nevin Guler
As a rising sophomore at the College, I have had a bumpy year.
I was stuck at home, bored out of my mind, staring at my computer screen for countless hours of classes. Though I was able to make friends in college and meet new people if they were close by, it was still hard to not experience the joys of living on campus.
I couldn’t join any clubs in person or visit the famous “Campus Town,” since I was far from campus. Being on Zoom felt more like a chore than a learning experience. To make matters worse, after moving my belongings in for the Spring semester, I took a rapid Covid test on campus that day and found out I had the virus. Despite being asymptomatic, I had to stay home for a few days and come back to campus late, just as everyone was having a good time before classes started.
Luckily I was able to find my footing on campus. There were some perks in being there. I did not have to stand in crowded lines at Eickhoff’s cafeteria for too long and was able to get the gist of what foods to stay away from. I also had a dorm room to myself. I have some college friends that chose not to live on campus last spring and are frantically buying dorm room supplies, whereas I still have my bed sheets from Target ready to be on my twin-sized mattress once again.
I enjoyed the simple pleasures in life on campus, like the scenery and the luxury of having my friends around to drive me around instead of waiting for an Uber.
Now here we are, and this semester we will hopefully have a full year of in-person experiences on campus. A part of me feels ready to take on the world again — ready to write papers and to see classmates in person. Although I am fully vaccinated, there are still tensions lurking beneath the surface, especially with the ever-present delta variant. Another part of me dreads an email saying once again that all students will be home this semester.
So now I wonder what it would be like living on campus for a full year. I am excited to have a roommate and to have more access to in-person activities, sports events, and flexible dining locations. I want to see the College be brought back to life like fireworks lighting up the sky — filled with lots of excited students.
Some in-person activities will be back this semester, and even though there will likely still be precautions — given that we have been in this pandemic for almost a year and a half — we know how to put on a mask and how to always wash our hands and have hand sanitizer at all times. By continuing to take these precautions, we will ultimately be able to transition into the semester this year.
If there's one thing that this pandemic has taught me about the College’s class of 2020 and 2021 is that we are resilient.
Sometimes we ask for help, sometimes we find ways to adapt to new changes. We look for a loophole where we can still enjoy our passions or activities, whether it's online or cheering on the sidelines rooting for your teammates. All we can do now is keep breathing and keep looking forward to each new day. I would rather keep doing that than living my life in fear hoarding toilet paper and granola bars in my dorm room.
Every day is an adventure and while we should be careful, don’t let this pandemic consume your life. To everyone on campus, I wish you the best of luck. Remember that just like being injured or doing poorly on a test, you will bounce back stronger than ever. With a bit of luck and by considering not just our needs, but everyone else’s as well, I believe that all of us will be ready to live on campus this semester.