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Shout Out to All the “Freshman” Sophomores in College This Year

I, as well as many others, are struggling with all the changes that are being thrown at us as sophomores in college this year. COVID-19 hit during our senior year of high school, meaning we all began college in a remote or hybrid learning model. I can’t speak on behalf of other schools, but if they were anything like my freshman year, students were probably learning entirely remote or at least on campus with remote classes. Masks were required everywhere, testing had to be completed regularly, dining halls and buildings were switched around entirely to provide social distancing. I think I can easily say that college was nothing like how we expected it to be when we first got there.

All of freshman year, we had many of the things that we looked forward to in college taken away. No sports games, no parties and no normal social interactions. We went to class and had to sit three seats away from anyone else in the course. Dining halls were confusing mazes with one exit and plastic “boxes” to sit in to keep people safe from spreading the virus while eating. The whole college experience was altered entirely. I know of many people who dropped out, took a gap year or even chose to not even attend college because of the experience it was going to be with COVID-19.

Now, here we are in our sophomore year. Many regulations have changed, sports are happening again, and we’re able to interact with people normally in classes. However, we had to go through the whole process of getting used to campus again. We already didn’t have the normal freshman orientation process the year prior, and now we have pretty much a whole new campus to become used to again. We have classes that we have to attend in person now, no more zooming in from our beds. The dining halls allow the use of actual plates and silverware. We can sit side-by-side with other students in class. This is more like the college experience we were thinking about, except now it’s not what we’re used to.

Unlike all the upperclassmen above us, we have no idea what it’s like to have a normal college experience. For everyone else, this is what they were used to or what they expected coming in. But, we must adjust to all the changes and stress of college for a second time. I feel for all the other sophomores out there who had to handle the stress of college life. While I’m sure we are all happy to be able to have more of the normal college life that we wanted, the stress that came with that adjustment probably took a toll on many people out there. I wish the best of luck to all the other college students out there who are struggling with the stress of college along with all the challenging changes that have been thrown at them in the past two years. Keep working hard and doing what you do, we’re all doing our best out here! :)

My name is Haley Ott and I am a business student at UNH. I plan on pursuing a minor in Real Estate.
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