I remember the day Purdue was shut down as if it were yesterday. Everyone was sent home to continue classes completely online. Personally, the online version of college was not as engaging as the in-person version. I missed seeing my friends every day, going to sporting events to cheer on my favorite team, socializing in general, and so on. Then summer came, and it was announced that we were coming back in person. I couldn’t believe it; I was so excited to be on campus and resume the life that I started here at Purdue.
When I came back, it was definitely different than pre-pandemic. But one of the things that I noticed the most, besides wearing our masks, was how flexible professors were. Every professor was more understanding when kids got sick and couldn’t come in. They would always figure out a way for students to get all the information they needed when they couldn’t attend in person.
To this day, I notice that professors are still implementing that flexibility for the students, which is nice to see even when the campus is opening up more. Another thing I took note of was the dining courts opening up for you to sit and eat with your friends. When the school first opened, you had limited choices and had to eat your food outside or in your room. Now, the dining courts are returning to the buffet style and now I get to eat with my friends inside the dining court.
This year, sporting events were open for anyone to attend, and I of course took any chance I could to go. I’ve been to nearly every basketball and football game this year, but one of my favorites was storming Ross-Ade field when we beat Michigan State. Here's a photo of me with Kent Burkman, far left, and Hannah Radde on the field after the Purdue-Michigan State game.
Having all the Purdue fans storm the field and come together to celebrate that amazing win was the most exhilarating experience for me. That’s when I knew that we were moving forward. When all of us were coming together to celebrate, it felt like a unified feeling that we were going to be okay, and that life is moving forward here at Purdue. We are still within a pandemic, and precautions are still necessary for the safety of everyone in this world, but it is nice to see that there is some progress being made during these rough times.