Who would’ve known what this pandemic lifestyle had in store for us at college? For first-year students like myself, we never got a chance to feel the fall beauty, to walk through the beautiful campus, or even get the chance to appreciate the quad. While we sat through online classes, the only tastes of Loyola we got were from the upperclassmen who would share their memories and the professors who would tell us about how the leaves in Baltimore were absolutely breathtaking. I remember one of my professors during fall 2020 who used to take pictures of the campus whenever we met through Zoom and share them with the class.
After all the anticipation, reading the emails of us coming back on campus was probably the most exciting news I received in a long time. When the moment came, I packed my bags and loaded the car with everything I thought I needed in my dorm room. I could barely sleep from excitement but as the night fell darker, I started to feel nervous. I never got an official tour of the campus and so I wondered, what would I do if I couldn’t find my classes, what if I entered the wrong class, and how would I make friends? Questions upon questions started popping up in my mind as a paranoid feeling started to fill my chest. I doubt I ended up sleeping that night, after all, I was too busy overthinking.
The time had finally come—I bid goodbye to my room, my home cooked meals, and posed for my little sister’s TikTok. The drive to campus wasn’t bad for me because I was just 40 minutes away, but the COVID test was definitely a pain. As we drove into the FAC and the nurse stuck a long test up my nose, tears and sneezes followed. I don’t know about you guys, but mine went so deep it felt like the test wanted to take my whole nose.
Finally, after finding my building, organizing my room with my parents, and waving them goodbye, the hectic move-in day came to an end. It honestly wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. That following weekend, me and my roommate walked around campus. We got familiar with our buildings and met with some of the students we had classes with. As the week went by, we started adjusting pretty well. Although we started figuring out the people who we got along with, one thing we weren’t adjusting to was the food at Boulder!
After discussing amongst peers, we were glad to find out it wasn’t just our stomachs that weren’t adjusting well with Boulder food. Oh, and don’t worry, that wasn’t even the most embarrassing part. Later that week I even had to go to the health center to check out my stomach because I thought I had a kidney stone. You can probably guess what the problem was, but let me give you a hint… I’m lactose intolerant and since Boulder was serving a lot of mac and cheese, I overdid myself. Also, I wasn’t having enough greens in my meals so... that’s my hint to you all.
Even though this is my second semester, it definitely felt like my first. All the excitement and curiosity of being on campus has finally been fed. It’s definitely a different experience with COVID, but at least it’s our experience, together with big smiles under our masks to fire drills in the cold evenings of spring. I love it here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I cannot wait until we have more events and warmer days. Till then, I’ll continue to wear my mask, enjoy the time I have here, and maybe even adjust to the food at Boulder.
P.S. - I recommend the nachos on Grubhub from the Den!