As a senior in college, I’ve had more than my fair share of the “First Day of School” song and dance. But, all things considered, no first day — or even week — could measure up to 2021’s.
At Ohio University, students are back in full force for classes, which are taking place across different modalities. Some courses remain online, either synchronously or asynchronously, while other courses are being taught either in person or in a hybrid format. Most students have a blend of those modalities, meaning everyone is walking on campus at one point or another.
Living off campus last year allowed me to see firsthand how empty campus was during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, seeing campus full of energy and students again is both exciting and unfamiliar. The lines at coffee shops are longer, the Baker Center elevators are crowded and the dining hall waits have extended. Despite some of the pains that come with everyone returning, it’s also great to see some signs of life before the pandemic returning, such as students hugging friends they see in passing or hammocks strung up around the many campus trees.
But it’s also weird. Very weird. Most of the senior class has not attended an in-person class in over a year. For everyone else, the sensation of being a freshman lost on campus is all too real. Juniors and sophomores alike are both yet to experience a full year of living on campus. Meanwhile, freshmen are juggling not just the college transition, but what it means to be in college during a pandemic.
It’s the second week of classes, but some things still feel foreign. We’re all accidentally going through doors with stickers saying “exit only,” trying to get involved in more social activities and overall, struggling to settle into an in-person college routine. Despite a “return to normalcy,” very few things feel normal.
That exact feeling is what The Post is here to report upon. As a newspaper that first and foremost serves to be the voice of all students on campus, we’re diligently listening to those around us and scanning social media to see what news has occurred within the first two weeks of classes. We’re looking into news tips, brainstorming ideas for projects and chasing the breaking news. You can count on us for reliable reporting and information throughout the year.
However, some of that reporting doesn’t happen without news tips and conversations with individuals in our community. We are always accepting news tips. Anonymous tips can be left on our Google form, and any other tips can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also give us a call at 740-566-8717.
Additionally, letters to the editor can be sent to email@example.com. Tell us about campus or Athens happenings that you care about or are impacted by in 1,000 words or less. There is so much happening on campus as we all continue to navigate the pandemic, and hearing from a variety of students helps us chronicalize this crazy, unfamiliar experience. Let’s write these stories together.