Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

My 2024 Solar Eclipse Viewing Experience In College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse occurred, and it could be seen throughout the country! It’s a rare sighting indeed, as it will be decades until another one happens (currently having an existential crisis). Anyway, I have never actually experienced an eclipse before, so my first time seeing it in college was a great and fun experience!

At the University of Connecticut, we have a place called Horsebarn Hill, which is a giant, green-filled hill near the animals. It’s THE place everyone goes to for events like this; during the winter, people went sledding down the hill! Horsebarn Hill is quite a walk from most of the campus, so as I was walking there, I saw crowds of people heading the same way. I thought to myself, “Great minds think alike.”

Once I was (finally) up the hill, I plopped down onto the cold grass and waited until the eclipse happened. I looked around and saw not only UConn students but families and pets too! I’m not going to lie, it was SO cold up on that hill, and guess who forgot their jacket? Yours truly. So, for about an hour, I was absolutely freezing.

Around 3:00 p.m., I started to notice the sky getting darker. That’s when I knew the eclipse was happening. I didn’t have eclipse glasses and of course, I didn’t want to damage my eyes, so the people I was with asked around to borrow glasses. Eventually, we got two pairs and took turns looking at the eclipse and… wow.

Full in-depth picture of the Solar eclipse
Original photo by Ashley Bejar
Picture on horsebarn hill of UConn, of the sky during the eclipse
Original photo by Ashley Bejar

I took these photos at least 10 seconds apart, and it’s quite obvious there’s a difference in what we saw vs. what was actually happening in space. Isn’t it crazy that the moon was able to cover a huge chunk of the sun, yet it was still bright outside, so much so that I couldn’t really tell it was happening? Space is magical, I’ll say that.

Thanks to whoever we got eclipse glasses from, I was able to capture a rare moment in history (though most of my photos are of horrible quality). Afterwards, we all went back to our dormitories, but I was still so giddy about the fact that I saw the moon and sun meet. I have heard that apparently the next (viewable) solar eclipse will be in two decades, so I’m grateful that I could see it for the first time as a teenager. Enjoy your youth, make the most of it, and don’t take moments like this for granted!

Ashley Bejar writes fun and informative articles for the Her Campus chapter at UConn! She is from Bridgeport, CT and comes from an all-Peruvian family. Ashley is currently a sophomore, first-gen, psychology and human development & family sciences double major at the University of Connecticut! In high school, she worked and presented a Capstone project. This included a year of research/experimenting, writing an article of the data, and presenting the findings to a panel of judges. She also writes original stories for fun on the internet. Aside from writing articles, Ashley is involved in numerous clubs and organizations. She is an avid KPOP listener and loves to learn the dances and is a member of the UConn KPOP group Seoular. She loves to work a lot with children as well. In the future, she hopes to be a child psychologist/therapist! On campus activities include community outreach (specifically with children), acting in plays & musicals for UConn Dramatic Paws, and dancing to a multitude of genres of music!