Starting College During a Pandemic

Starting college is a big process. It’s basically like starting a new, independent life from what you know at home. With the amount of guidelines, restrictions, and the changes from being quarantined for what feels like months on end, starting college during the COVID-19 pandemic is an even bigger process. I talked to a few fellow freshmen about how they felt starting school in a pandemic and how they feel now, being that we’re almost complete with the first semester. Here’s what they had to say:

Caroline, a freshman, said that before she arrived she was expecting it to be a bit more difficult to make friends upon arrival. She also thought that the restrictions due to COVID-19 would be far stricter than what they currently are. She admitted that when she arrived on campus it was harder to meet others and make new friends. The smaller social settings made it harder to meet other freshmen that didn’t live in her dorm. Aside from the social scene, she also found that it was a bit difficult to manage her time at the start of the semester because some of her classes were online while others were in person.

Another freshman, Sofia, said that before she came to Bucknell, she was expecting to see a lot of classes being held outdoors. Like Caroline, she felt that when she arrived it was harder to meet other people. She stated, “it was more difficult to make friends and get to know others in my online classes. It’s almost like there is a disconnect between us when we are attending online classes.” Jess, a fellow freshman had a similar viewpoint. She grasped the idea that it is harder to have a close and personal relationship not just with other classmates but also with professors. 

These freshmen and others do feel that Bucknell has done an excellent job with handling social activities which allow students to interact with each other. The outdoor events located at 7th Street Makerspace, Uptown, and other various locations across campus help to bring together students and allow for a fun and COVID-19 friendly environment in which you can make memories with new and old friends. It’s also a clever way to keep students engaged and on campus during the weekends, lessening the risk of an outbreak.

With all that being said, starting college during the COVID-19 pandemic can have its setbacks with online classes and limited social interaction. However, Bucknell has done a tremendous job with handling any of the mishaps that occur. They’ve created ways for students to safely socialize and it’s safe to say that it’s just a wonderful thing to be attending college in person rather than remote. In that sense, Bucknell is still giving us the college experience to the best of its ability.