With this 2021-22 school year on track to be a significantly more normal year for students, a lot of sophomores (and those who arrived last year) are starting to realize that their idea of Alfred University is far from the usual.
It’s become a meme, and something a lot of the freshman find simultaneously annoying and comforting. Sure, the upperclassman that lives next door and talks to you while you cook dinner is nice, but as it turns out? They have no idea where half the classrooms are, and if you’re thinking about asking them about events? Good luck.
Spring 2021 was as close as we got to normalcy, last year, with Hot Dog Day (Not Dog Day) showing us what a campus is supposed to look like. We’d gotten so used to the ghost town vibe of Academic Alley, of quickly snatching our food from Powell and lighting out of there, of never making eye contact or saying hello because of the chance of Alfred’s trademarked quarantine experience.
With the arrival of the class of ’25, and other transfers, a lot of us are having to get over that 2020-21 was a special kind of year. People want to talk again, stay over in the dorm for a day. Everybody and their mother want to order Starbucks again, so that line is something you’ll have to get used to. We had it relatively easy last year, despite it all. And now we’re getting the full experience.
It’ll stay strange for a while. Seeing people’s faces, walking through crowds on your way to class, and (the best part) less Zoom classes.
I know that quite a few of my ’24 classmates are not used to this. We lost a year, 2021-22 might as well be our freshman year. But there’s a buzz around campus now. We can socialize, have fun, party! People are licking the pole at GJ’s again, and although that remains a disgusting tradition, it signals that the mood on campus is changing.
There are so many events planned for this semester, and no doubt more around the corner, so go out there. Don’t be afraid to take advantage (responsibly) of the uncertain-yet-excited feeling around campus.
By Sam Sage