Ever since the beginning of COVID, I wished to go back to regular life, especially on my college campus. I yearned for a fresh start and I hoped for the experiences I barely got a taste of in during my short-lived freshman year. Despite the improvements we saw last year, I am still looking for something that may never be the same again.
As someone who loves interacting with people and meeting everyone under the sun, my extroverted personality has hated social distancing from all my potential new friends. With this being a possibility now being back on campus, I have begun to think back to what life used to be like and if I can accept what will eventually become the “new normal.” Is it something we will all be able to get used to or will it bring more arguments and debates? Most likely we will find ourselves right in the middle, causing so much internal turmoil. It may be something we have to live with, but with my second chance at a real college experience, I do not plan on wasting it. Though where there are a lot of pros there comes a lot of cons alongside them.
- Meeting everyone and anyone that I can. The motto I keep telling myself is that I will make this the year that I try and make myself the most involved then I have in the past two years. Even though I told myself in the past years that, “it was just too hard with COVID to be involved,” it didn’t stop anyone else from joining anything they wanted. I only have two more years at college to make some sort of mark, and if not now then when?
- Being able to attend class and events in person. Besides football, the thing I most from a real college experience was attending class in person. Just sitting and watching your professor through a screen could never compare to sitting in a large lecture hall fighting to stay awake. In person classes provide me with the structure I need in my life and without it, I barely left the house.
- The very prominent pandemic. Unlike what everyone seems to think, we are still getting through COVID and regardless of vaccination status, everyone is getting sick. It has been hard to maintain my cautiousness when there are so many things I want to attend, but at the same time it’s all about knowing the risks. Not to mention the mysterious illnesses that are circulating a lot of college campuses, ours being deemed the “Penn State Plague” has taken more than enough victims these past couple months. I wasn’t aware of how weak my immune system was until I got back to college, but hopefully it’s only getting better.
- In addition to it being a pro, having in person classes is also a con, and they have definitely put me through the wringer. The ease of sleeping in and simply turning on your computer is something I wish I didn’t take for granted. Nothing beats your class ending and you can just stay put for the rest of the day; the true height of luxury.
All in all, I am glad to be back, but it is important to remember the circumstances we are still in and take each day with a grain of salt. If the past two years have taught me anything it is that we need to value our days and live to them to their utmost potential.
Stay Healthy and be adventurous, collegiettes!