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Fall fantasies: Students ready for fun, football and freedom

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Next fall brings lots of hope for life on campus to go back to normal after three long and abnormal semesters. 

As OSU plans to have full in-person classes, required attendance, and Homecoming next semester, life at Zoom University is coming to an end. Students are more than excited to enjoy the real college experience. 

For some students, having freedom again is most exciting. 

“I’m the most excited about not having to worry about COVID regulations, wearing masks, things of that nature, it’s more freedom,” said Dillan Duff, a junior in plant and soil science. “Also I think it’s better that you’ll have to attend class. It’s not going to be recorded and put online all the time. I mean sometimes you want to be lazy and do that, but it makes you more disciplined and you get better grades if you go to class.”

Many students are thrilled to make connections that were sorely missed in distanced and online classes. 

“I’m excited because I think it’ll be easier to make connections and make friends,” said Grace Potts, a freshman in agricultural economics. “Sometimes I feel like it’s dead on campus now because kids don’t have to go out since they can just do class online. I’m excited for football, tailgating, and the stuff that really completes the college experience, and for it to be part of my college experience. Being a freshman, it’s all been very, very strange.”

Getting to see student’s faces, smiles and people out and about is a common theme among those who are looking forward to a return to the fun, lively OSU campus that once drew so many together. 

“I’m really excited to see people on campus,” said Libby Roark, a sophomore in history. “Being on campus gives me a lot of OSU pride, and I think being online takes away that pride, so I’m really excited to be back on campus and going to in-person classes.”

The opportunities that were missed this year such as classic OSU events like homecoming are things that students look forward to truly experiencing next year.

“I’m most looking forward to honestly just feeling like a normal college student again,” said Esther Ford, a sophomore in agricultural education. 

For many majors, some labs and classes could not be taught safely during the pandemic, so students missed out on a lot of learning opportunities. 

“I’m in a lodging class right now and we didn’t get to do the lab at all, it was just the lecture portion, so I didn’t get to do any of the front or back-of-house work for the hotel,” said Brooke Egli, a sophomore in hospitality. “I’m really excited to be able to connect with other students again, like going online it’s really hard to make friendships, so being back in person and the ability to have conversations and just connect with people more easily.”

Many club activities were heavily restricted or completely cancelled this year. Of course, Homecoming was canceled before school even started. 

“I’m excited to finally be able to do more social events on campus,” said Noah Jewell, a junior double majoring in food science and meat science. “Being able to do more with clubs and the college, in general, is exciting.”

“I’m most excited about Homecoming activities,” said Michael Bardwell, a sophomore in political science and economics. “But I’m also worried I’ll catch Covid again and get really sick.”

One senior recalls what the college experience is really about, and hopes students will get to truly experience that next year. 

“I won’t be here next semester but for the rest of the students returning, I am hoping they’re able to have some social events,” said Alisa Northcutt, a senior in agricultural communications. “The college experience is all about meeting new people and being vulnerable and doing life with them, and this year I don’t feel like any of that was happening.

"So for the sanity of everyone returning, I hope there’s more social interaction and that meeting new people is encouraged."