A Return to Campus

by JP “Johnny” Campbell

Now that Oregon has relaxed their COVID restrictions, students will return to the PSU campus this fall for the first time in a year. I’m both incredibly excited and incredibly nervous. I haven’t been in a physical classroom in a long time! I completed both my last year of undergrad and my first year of grad school in front of a computer screen!

There are perks to going to college in your living room. It’s nice to be around my pets, to let my wife listen in on my lectures, and to sit on a couch instead of a classroom desk. At the same time, however, it was incredibly difficult to stay engaged and pay attention. In your home, every possible distraction looms. Roommates, pets, partners, the television, knocking mailmen and food delivery folks, nosy neighbors — any number of things!

I look forward to being around my peers again most of all. I am an incredibly social person! I thrive around people, and have missed befriending classmates badly. I can’t wait to make new friends and to feel more engaged this next term.

I am going to take concrete steps to stay safe on campus this fall — handwashing and use of hand sanitizer, social distancing/masking if appropriate, and avoiding eating inside. An abundance of caution, perhaps, but one can’t be too careful!

I cannot wait to sit in a classroom, look at the view from the top floor of the CUPA building, meet with my advisors, and study in the library. I’ve missed our campus sorely. I have my reservations about in-person classes after such a long time on Zoom, but I’m absolutely excited! 

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