The sophomore class in particular will be divided. This is because there is a large percentage who have never experienced life on campus because of the pandemic and opted to stay home. On the other hand, some sophomores got the opportunity to spend at least a part of last school year on campus.
Here’s a few pieces of advice from a sophomore who spent half of last year in Athens, (and if you’re an incoming freshman, here’s some information you should know.)
Before anything else is mentioned, I have to address the elephant in the room– or rather the air. The pandemic played a huge role in shaping my freshman and now sophomore year.
Living on campus last year while there was still a statewide mask-mandate and a curfew was in effect definitely shaped my social life. All of my courses were online but I still was able to make the best of it because I had a semblance of the ‘’college experience’’ of living in the dorms and living in a small college town.
My few words of wisdom essentially come down to keeping yourself safe and making sure you’re surrounding yourself with people you know who take the virus seriously. I jumped on the opportunity last April to get vaccinated because I knew I was not only protecting myself, but also my friends and family.
At first, like any campus, there were a lot of people who weren’t taking the virus seriously. This worried me until I realized how much effort Athens and OU put into making sure students were staying safe and not getting sick.
To any incoming students and sophomores, I’m urging you to get vaccinated. If you can do that, we can get closer to normal operations and have a true college experience together.
There is so much to unpack in terms of Athens and campus life. My favorite part of Athens is the easy access to many beautiful parks and trails to explore. I encourage taking a few trips to parks nearby.
I also recommend spending your weekends unwinding and seeing a movie at the Athena Grand on State Street, or better yet, walk up Court Street and go to the Athena Cinema where you can watch more independent films.
If you’ve become sick of the dining hall food (I know I did after a while), don’t forget to check out the numerous types of cuisine that Athens has to offer. These would range from: sushi at Ginger Kitchen, Mexican at Casa Nueva, Indian at Star of India and wings at Wings Over to name a few.
As sophomores, we made most of our friends last year either back home or on the internet. When I came to Athens last spring, I tried to make the most of my situation and met as many people as I could. I joined clubs and organizations and made my goal to put myself out there.
As I urged the freshmen last year, I’m now urging sophomores to enjoy their time at OU and make the most of it. Get connected, reach out and don’t be afraid to have fun. There’s just about every club you can imagine here on campus and student organizations that will help you in your career field.
There’s also tons of Greek life with numerous fraternities and sororities that thrive on brother and sisterhood and strive for excellence.
Regardless of the advice that can be given or taken, this year is all about connecting with our fellow bobcats, making up for lost time and continuing our education. This year will be a great one for us as we look forward to what is to come.
Tre Spencer is a sophomore studying photojournalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Tre know by tweeting him @trerspencer1.