OPINION: Transitioning to my first in-person week as a second-year student

Sophomore Lucinda Judd reflects on the first week of classes after only knowing UD through a computer screen. Photo courtesy of Flyer News.

Lucinda Judd | Staff Writer

Twice I have written about my experiences at the University of Dayton as a first-year, COVID-year student, and I am pleased to write my third and hopefully final reflection on transitioning to classes as a sophomore in a much more positive light. 

After the repetitiveness of last year I was excited when the campus reached our 70% vaccination rate and hoped that campus would go back to normal. I was even more excited because I had never experienced a “normal” semester on UD’s campus and so far it’s off to a great start.

The email informing students of a mask policy while in class was at first disheartening. I was scared that this was the beginning of the end again but it has had such a minimal impact on my life so far. Wearing a mask in class is a small price to pay to keep classes a regular size, to have people in my dorm, and to be able to actually see people. In truth, despite my occasionally forgetting to bring a mask and having to run back to my dorm, the mask policy has not inhibited my life on campus in any way.

The first day of classes I ate breakfast in VWK with my roommates and then walked to classes with them and some of my guy friends. The amount of people that I saw walking around campus amazed me, I truly felt for the first time that I was actually on a full college campus. 

In class, I’ve already felt much closer to my professors and my peers. By just asking to sit next to someone or even just making small talk at the beginning of class; I already enjoy classes so much more than last semester. On Zoom I had such a hard time recognizing who were in my other classes outside of a screen. This year in-person classes have helped me recognize peers outside of class and just even seeing someone wave at me or smile around campus is surreal compared to last year.

Another added bonus to in person classes is that I can see and experience more than just my dorm room. One of the main reasons why I decided to enroll at UD was because of how beautiful the campus is and last year I barely saw any of it. Despite it only being the second week of classes I have already seen more of campus than I saw my entire freshman year. 

One downfall is that I miss not being able to roll out of bed two minutes before class and still make it on time. Although the sunlight is a great way to wake up in the morning, I am already more tired because of the walks to class. Plus I have to do laundry a lot more since I cannot wear my pajamas to class.

Despite the hot weather and earlier alarms, I have never felt like I belonged on campus as much as I do right now. Seeing what the campus looked like on the first day of classes was surprising but caused me to fully realize how many people live here and attend classes here and to fully recognize that I am a part of the UD community.

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