features

The Transition to In-Person Life on Campus

Stacey Kaliabakos ‘23

Features Editor

2021 has had its fair share of ups and downs, but I think that no College of the Holy Cross student can complain about being on campus as a community again. Although things are still different from the pre-pandemic era (like indoor mask mandates and mandatory bi-weekly testing), we are once again back on the Hill with life slowly returning to normal. I was fortunate enough to live on campus last semester, but I know that the students who were not are still acclimating to being here again. And those who did not have in-person or hybrid classes last semester are being reintroduced to academic life inside the classroom versus on a screen. This return to pre-pandemic “normalcy” is going to take a while, but the process is a shared experience. I’d like to share what my own days at Holy Cross look like. 

I start every day of the week with class at 11:00 a.m., so I usually wake up around 9:00 or 9:30 to get up, get dressed, and head to Kimball for breakfast. Last year, I would typically wake up 20-30 minutes before classes, since I would just be getting on Zoom in my room anyway. Breakfast was definitely not a main concern for me, but now it’s probably my favorite meal of the day. I am able to get breakfast with my friends most days, and on the days I go by myself, I take some time to read a little for classes or go through some articles from the Wall Street Journal (and maybe read The Spire as well). My classes are all in-person, and I have to admit it took some time getting used to being in the classroom. Walking to class and interacting with other students in the classroom still feels surreal sometimes. Instead of sitting in silent breakout rooms, we’re able to turn to the students next to us to talk about class materials. Even with everyone still wearing masks, it almost feels like Holy Cross is approaching normal again.

After classes come club meetings. I am not involved in any sports, but I am a member of several clubs on campus that have also started meeting again in person. It’s been very fun to get to know underclassmen and other students in my grade I never met due to the pandemic. I think that, as the year goes on, clubs and club events will really contribute to making campus life livelier and more cohesive than before.

It’s also really nice to have all my friends on campus again (save those who are abroad). I love to eat outdoors with my friends, do homework with them in Fenwick, and play Mario Kart together on the weekends. I’ve also immensely enjoyed hanging out with my best friend and roommate Rose every night. Our late-night chats and study sessions have made this semester so much fun.

Despite the risks presented by COVID-19 and the protocols put in place to mitigate them, I know that I and my fellow students feel an abundance of gratitude for the ability to return to in-person classes this year. I am extremely hopeful for the 2021-2022 school year and wish all my fellow Crusaders the best of luck for this upcoming midterms season.

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