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Are Sophomores the New Freshmen?

Kirsten Carroll, Staff Writer

For many of us, living on campus is one of the best college experiences, but when the pandemic interrupted the schedules of many universities in the U.S., countless students were forced to transition to remote learning. Students would miss out on move in day and meeting their new roommates, and not one dorm room would be decorated with cheesy tapestries and tacky wall art. Desks would be left vacant, and classrooms would remain untouched.

The 2020-2021 academic year was an experience unlike any other. Most of the OU class of 2024 never moved on campus. While the Spring semester gave some of the freshmen the opportunity to have an on-campus experience, most of them still have no idea what being in college truly feels like.

As a freshman myself, I recently came to the realization that while I will be a sophomore in terms of academics, will I be considered a sophomore in terms of campus experience? Over the past few weeks, I have continued to wonder what it will be like for the class of 2024 to adapt for the first time on campus as sophomores.

I’m nervous about having a difficult time transitioning to sharing a small space with someone I’m not familiar with,” said Sarita Magallon, freshman at Oglethorpe University, currently living at her home.

“I’m also concerned if whether or not my roommate will like me.”

Stokely Dennis, another freshman at Oglethorpe University, is also currently living at his home but plans to move on campus in the fall. Dennis said that he hopes to end up with a roommate that he can get along with after I asked him what he is most nervous about when he lives on campus.

I like interacting, but I also have come to truly value my peace,” said Dennis.

Just like Magallon and Dennis, many others in the OU class of 2024 had already planned to live on campus last summer as the final days were approaching in August for move in day.

Among the freshmen who are living at home right now, there is a prevalent attitude: They were so excited to move on campus with everything ready to go, but COVID-19 changed almost every freshmen’s mind to exempt from moving in last fall. Their parents wanted them to stay safe and were concerned about the pandemic.

“I did plan to live on campus in the summer of 2020, but my parents and I were concerned about the pandemic,” Magallon said, after asking her if she was already planning to live on campus for the 2020 fall semester.

“I heard the gym closed and my parents were really adamant that I stay home and avoid any potential problems on campus. I don’t really have any concerns going into the fall though!” said Dennis.

Almost one year later, the OU class of 2024 are back at it again as they set out to find roommates and apply for on-campus housing. April 21st was an exciting day for the freshmen class when the Priority Housing Applications were launched. Anticipation and excitement flowed through their veins as they signed up for Alumni, Jacobs, Bowden-Magbee, and Jobe-Hansen Halls.

As things begin to look up for the OU class of 2024, I think it’s safe to say that they are looking forward to moving on campus in the fall.

When asked what she is most excited about when living on campus, Magallon said, “I’m looking forward to finally attending classes in a classroom setting rather than on zoom!” She went on to say, “I think living on campus will be a great experience as I finally get to live on my own. I think I will be able to make more friends and socialize more.”

Also excited to meet new people, Dennis said, “I really want to explore and engage with the Brookhaven community. I have an idea for mutual aid that I’d like to get started on, but I want to understand the area and the people who live there before my team and I get started.”

He continued to say, “The close proximity will also really help with organizing and potentially growing the influence and capability of the organization I am a part of!”

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