What it Means to Be a Student Again This Semester

I will wake up tomorrow as a student. For the first time in the months since we began our journey into this pandemic, I am truly a student again. I don’t mean this in the sense that I will be going to classes and learning things, though that is certainly part of it. I and many others took classes over the summer, and we of course all finished last semester in the online classroom, but I wouldn’t consider that “being a student.” What I mean by student, in this case, is deeper than being someone who goes to class. 

I am waking up tomorrow on this campus, surrounded by my peers. I spent the last two hours, on a Sunday night knowing I had class in the morning, talking to a friend about life and the meaning therein. I grabbed a pizza from Campus Corner with my roommates and watched a hockey game with them while we all talked about the upcoming semester. While campus certainly feels strange, I finally feel like a student again, in the truest sense. Sure, I’ll be getting back to work on my classes tomorrow, but I’ll also start to see my friends walking around campus and go to get Holy Grounds in the spur of the moment. We can’t sit and chat with a group of friends in the pit, but we can gather with our chairs in the quad and do the same there. 

This semester will not be normal, but it certainly can be great, and I am starting to realize that I, like everyone else, went into this semester hesitantly. I still, of course, have certain reservations about how things will go. One thing I know for certain, however, is that this semester will be awful if I don’t seize it. The things I usually did on campus are no longer available to me, but perhaps that opens up a new avenue for me to get involved somewhere or do things I didn’t even think of before. This semester, and making the best of it, is going to require a great deal of creativity from myself and everyone else on this campus. I have no doubt that we can do it. 

I have now realized, without reservation, that I want, even need, to be on campus for the remainder of this semester. There are plenty of things I dislike; Falvey is incredibly strange to be in right now and I am not exactly looking forward to Zoom club meetings or class. That being said, there isn’t even a shadow of a doubt in my mind that these sacrifices are worth getting to be a student again, and I think, with some reflection, we all feel that way. I wish everyone a creative and full semester, and I look forward to working together to ensure that we all get to be true students.