1. Participating in extracurricular activities
Shelly Han, a junior mathematical finance and IT management double major, said that she is looking forward to participating in extracurricular activities. Han said she joined the Student Government Association (SGA) in Spring 2021 as a remote student.
“I recently became a business senator during the pandemic,” Han said. “And I was also elected as Finance Chair.”
Han added that while joining a new organization was a positive experience, there were some challenges that went along with the remote model.
“It was still a good experience, but because of the time difference, it was a little hard to keep up with the meetings.”
Now that students are on campus, SGA and other student organizations are able to meet in person once again.
First-year students are also taking advantage of all the ways to get involved on campus after having their last half of high school online. Anali Rodriguez, a freshman nursing major, said that she is gearing up to take on new opportunities.
“I’m excited to participate in Campus Ministry and Dove while I live on campus,” Rodriguez said. “I got to participate in Mission Night Tuesday with them, where we got to pack snacks and food for underprivileged kids in the area.”
2. In-person class
Lorra de Guzman, a junior nursing major, said that she is looking forward to in-person classes.
“As a nursing student, it was pretty difficult to learn from a screen, especially with our curriculum,” De Guzman said. “So, I’m very excited to be hands-on now.”
De Guzman added that the return to in-person classes makes her more eager to learn and attend; she will also be starting her clinical rounds for the first time this semester.
“I’m glad we got to come back in time for our class to begin their clinicals,” De Guzman said. “It’s a pretty big deal to finally be able to apply what we learned in a real-life setting.”
3. Seeing and making friends
De Guzman said that she also found that the full re-opening of the University allowed her to reconnect with old friends and meet some new ones.
“I was remote for half of my sophomore year, so I was still able to come back in the spring and see some people,” De Guzman said. “I still had a lot of friends who were remote for the full school year. Now that everyone is back, it feels like we can finally start where we left off.”
De Guzman also shared that she is looking forward to meeting new people again, while recognizing the struggles of underclassmen.
“It must have been hard for the freshmen who really didn’t go through the usual bonding period that everyone else got,” De Guzman said.
4. Enjoying what campus has to offer
Mayumi Gabuya, a freshman occupational therapy major, said she is glad to experience campus during a unique school reopening.
“This year, I’m excited to get out and just meet people,” Gabuya said. “Being stuck indoors for two years has been such a bore.”
Gabuya said that being able to come onto campus is a new experience in itself. “I missed being outside and enjoying the weather while hanging out with people,” Gabuya said. “It’s nice to just walk around the campus.”
5. Being part of Greek Life
Julia Lomonte, a junior creative writing major, said she is excited to get back into Greek life; Lomonte added that she rushed Kappa Kappa Gamma in Fall 2021 as a remote recruit.
“One thing I’m looking forward to this year is getting to be in-person with my sorority,” Lomonte said. “We recently changed our philanthropy to mental health and well-being, so I think it will be cool to transition into that, too.”
Catherine San can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.