Campus feels relatively “normal” with juniors and seniors


Kate McElhinney

Some juniors chose to stay on campus, since many seniors decided to remain virtual for the rest of the semester.

Hailee Sexton, Staff Writer

Now that the second quarter is well underway, students from both the junior and senior classes have had the chance to reside on campus and attend in-person classes. With a good number of students currently on campus, students have described campus life as fairly normal.

During the juniors’ time on campus, they were able to become accustomed to the expectations and opportunities of living on campus, and seniors are now having the chance to reconnect with their friends and return to a fairly “normal” campus life, relative to their junior year. 

Based on what the juniors anticipated when they first moved in, life on campus wasn’t perfect; however, students soon began to connect with one another and become part of the community, despite all the restrictions.

“On the first day that I got dropped off, the first couple of hours, I felt so out-of-place,” said junior Destiny Van. “However, my expectations were truly exceeded with all the joy that MSMS brought me. From making new friends, having picnics, late-night studying at the library, and nightly jogs, MSMS is more than what I expected, even though we had to remain socially distanced and bond from behind masks. It was everything that I hoped for and so much more, and I am so excited to go back to make more memories.”

 Everyone is trying to make life as normal as it can be with the restrictions put into place. Now that the seniors are on campus, things on campus are also a bit different from their junior year.  

“It actually seems normal sometimes,” senior Skylar Nichols said. “The biggest change is being in the dorm for my classes. I never go to Hooper which is very weird to me.”

 Senior Natalie Staggers still misses life without COVID-19 restrictions, but possesses an optimistic outlook and appreciates campus life

“I definitely miss being able to hold hands and hug my friends,” Staggers said. “But, it’s still great to get to see them at all. I’ve had a great time the past few days and being able to do classes in person has been so much better.”

 Since they were mostly alone without any seniors, juniors were forced to adapt and figure out life on campus the best that they could. However, juniors had the opportunity to observe a few seniors who resided on campus during their stay.  

“I noticed that the seniors tend to manage their time way better,” said junior Vidhi Patel. “And when they’re free they’re always doing an activity or just hanging out together. A lot of the juniors tend to be very introverted, but that could very well be because the seniors weren’t here at the start to bring us out of our shells.”

After being on campus for a while, the seniors have noticed a few things have changed in their absence. Classes aren’t the way they were last year, forcing unusual schedules and affecting the attitudes of some students. MSMS staff and students are all trying to make things as normal as possible by continuing to spend time with friends when possible and attending events arranged by students and staff, but most of the students wish a lot of things would go back to normal. 

“I would love to go to real classes,” Nichols said. “I want to be able to be in class with friends, learning from a teacher in person. Every day feels like the weekend, which makes it a little hard to be motivated sometimes.”

Not only are the seniors missing normal campus life, but they feel that there are so many aspects of residing on campus that the juniors are missing out on. Being stuck in the dorms and barely going to any real classes, juniors don’t get the experience that the seniors did, causing them to feel left out of crucial experiences. 

“The real thing juniors are missing out on is easily the social aspect,” senior Sophia Toner said. “Last year, I went downtown pretty much every weekend just to hang out off campus or study with friends. The camaraderie and overall vibes are crucial to the experience, and while I’m sure some semblance of that is being maintained in the way a global pandemic creates a baseline mutual bond among people, it’s still not what we had before. I really hope the juniors get that by next year at the latest.”

Many of the juniors agree with Toner and believe they are not getting the real MSMS experience; some worry they never will. There are many aspects of campus life that make MSMS what it is, and some juniors feel they can’t truly appreciate the opportunities of MSMS after the cancellation of so many hallmarking activities. 

“I’d say that I’m definitely missing out on visiting places around Columbus with my friends,” junior Madeline Raynor said. “It would be really nice to just hang out at a coffee shop or run around Walmart with a few of my good friends, but of course, we can’t do that without leaving the campus. It sometimes feels like we get all of the workload and none of the fun.”

All the students and faculty are hopeful that things will continue to go back to normal, and everyone wants the fun and social aspects of MSMS to return, giving the students the junior and senior years they signed up for. 

“I’d like to be close to people again,” Staggers said. “I want to walk around and hug my friends without thinking about whose grandmother may die as a result. Me and the rest of the world.”