Freshman year. It's supposed to be one of the most fun times of your life; going out with friends, experiencing freedom, being independent. Last year, this rang true for me. This year, it's not so true. While being independent is still something to experience, it is much harder to go out with people with social distancing in place.
Living on campus is much different. Every building has 30-50% capacity, the cafeteria is not buffet style anymore, masks are required every except in your own personal room and most classes went online or hybrid. I was never the one for online classes, but so far I am really enjoying them, I have a mix of online and hybrid and being honest, I enjoy the online meetings more than the in person ones.
Quite frankly, I enjoy having every building at a limited capacity. It makes campus life a lot quieter and less busy. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing a bustling campus with lots of people laughing, hanging out, and studying. However, seeing the campus as quiet and dormant as it is reminds me of a quiet cities night life. Walking through campus and having it be almost like a ghost town is peaceful.
I've noticed that I am not hanging out with my friends as much as I usually did. Having the restrictions in place and being at risk by just being on campus is enough to keep me in my room a lot of the day. While I do enjoy being by myself or with my roommate, it's hard sometimes not seeing many other people. I have ventured out with a few friends, but only if I knew they were taking precautions and being safe.
Most people on campus are taking the pandemic seriously and protecting themselves, but there's always a few people that don't follow the rules. It's hard to make people who don't care about the rules to follow them and it's really frustrating to see people who don't care. I'm afraid that it's people like them who will make us have to leave campus early.
Overall, I enjoy the changes that were made to campus in order for us to be - for the most part- safely on campus again. I missed the thrill of campus life and being on my own. While campus this year is light years different than it was last year, it is still nice to be here. I am happy and content with the way everything is going. I hope that our campus can continue to improve and take the necessary measures to keep us safe and on campus until the end of the semester.