The coronavirus has changed the course of the world and, in turn, how students have to live their lives on campus. Senior Chloè Hoofman said it feels strange to be back and, although she is excited to see everyone, she is sad about the physical distance she has to put between herself and others.
“It’s a little surreal, to be honest,” Hoofman said. “Everything is so familiar, yet seems to be removed a step from familiarity. I am so thrilled to see and be surrounded by my people again, but it’s difficult having to put physical distance between everyone.”
Despite the changes being made this semester — like being 6 feet apart, using hand sanitizer and consistently wearing masks — students have expressed some positive aspects about the changes being made this semester.
“Because students have been gone so long, most of my professors don’t mind having to speak behind a plexiglass shield with a mask on,” senior Maria Sheeba said. “They’re just grateful to be in front of a classroom again. The changes have also helped the Harding community band together to limit the amount of exposure, even though it’s tough.”
The changes have also affected how certain programs on campus can be run, particularly the theatre department. Hoofman said she feels concerned about what performances will look like in these conditions.
“Being in the theatre department, I do find myself anxious about how performances will work because it’s completely uncharted territory that we’re walking into,” Hoofman said.
While some students are returning to campus, others are experiencing on-campus life for the first time. Freshman Kylie Hasz said she doesn’t mind the masks because it means she gets to be on campus for her first semester of school.
“None of us expected this year to get as bad as it did, but there is always a silver lining,” Sheeba said. “While these changes are annoying, they are a necessary part of our near future. They are also a big part of if we get to finish our already shortened semester on campus.”