When Isabel Pulte went to Miami University’s Mega Fair this year, she felt like a real college student for the first time.
“All of last year, I felt like ‘Oh, yeah I’m in college, but am I really in college? I’m just sitting in my dorm all the time, just going on my computer,’” Pulte, a sophomore computer science major said, “versus in that moment, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I’m at a college fair. There’s all these clubs, all these opportunities. Wow, I am actually a college student.”
Most students adjust to their college campus during their first year, but with last year almost completely on Zoom, the sophomore class is still getting acclimated to college life.
Pulte said the biggest change from last year is more students on campus. She said the amount of students was overwhelming at first, but thinks it’s a nice change.
“Last year, I would walk to my dorm, and there wouldn’t be that many people there. I’d go to Armstrong, and it’d be pretty empty,” Pulte said. “It’s so much nicer to have people everywhere. It feels more like college.”
Maddie Reisinger, a sophomore strategic communication major, had similar feelings.
“It made me more excited for this year, because campus felt very dead last year,” Reisinger said. “Going to in-person activities — whether it’s stuff with my sorority or walking around Mega Fair – it makes it feel more like a real college experience.”
Although Pulte and Reisinger enjoy this year’s more lively campus, it them to readjust.
Pulte said she used to study in the middle of Armstrong Student Center, but because it has been so busy this year, she has started studying in more secluded areas of Armstrong and in Alumni Hall.
“I feel like I had to find different locations to study since I prefer quieter environments and the places I normally would go are busier now,” Pulte said.
The switch from online to in-person classes has been the most difficult change, Pulte said. For her, in-person classes have proven to be more difficult.
“I’ve been having to schedule in studying time and make sure I’m continuously reviewing and studying material,” Pulte said. “Last year, I did more cramming.”
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Despite its challenges, Reisinger said returning to in-person classes has helped her realize the importance of time management.
“Last year we could log on from bed if you wanted or anywhere you could just log onto class,” Reisinger said, “but this year figuring out when to get to class and being prepared for that, that was definitely a shocker because I hadn’t had that experience yet being at Miami.”
Aidan Moorehead, a sophomore political science major, has also adjusted to the new school year by creating a routine for himself.
“I’ve had to budget out my time more carefully,” Moorehead said. “I’ve had to actually make a schedule … In a way, I have less time to just sit around and not do anything, but I’m also more productive.”
Although the transition has been difficult, Pulte is grateful to experience in-person classes once again.
“I haven’t taken an in-person class since my senior year of high school, so it’s crazy,” Pulte said. “It’s weird to actually be able to be around people … Last year I’d be in Zooms and everyone had their camera off, no one would be saying anything. This time it’s face-to-face interaction, so I’m actually meeting new people.”
Moorehead was also glad to see campus going back to normal.
“It’s been hard in some ways,” Moorehead said, “but for the most part it’s been a lot better than last year.”