Looking toward the Spring Semester

TORCH+PHOTO+%2F+Brenden+Willisch

TORCH PHOTO / Brenden Willisch

The spring semester at SJU is normally characterized by basketball games, the spring carnival and an array of other exciting events. This year, however, we will be missing out on all of these staples of the spring semester, unless of course we want to attend virtually. Sure, we can tune in to the basketball games on TV, but by doing so we’re missing out on the rush of sitting behind the hoop at MSG and cheering on the team with a hoard of other enthusiastic Johnnies. And whatever they attempt to do in place of the spring carnival this year will be a relative disappointment compared to the carnival rides and food trucks that are normally scattered all over the Great Lawn. 

Enjoying the excitement of spring semester festivities simply isn’t possible in the age of COVID-19. So what is there to look forward to about this semester?

I hate to say it, but there is honestly very little to anticipate this semester except for the end of it (and the hope that the fall will bring some semblance of normalcy). I made the decision to stay home in Connecticut for the spring, as opposed to moving back onto campus despite having lived there last fall. The most exciting thing I have to look forward to about school is the classes that I’m enjoying this semester and attending virtual Torch meetings — yet this is a far cry from the excitement that usually accompanies the spring semester. Not to mention that I am already buried in work with no sight of any breaks on the horizon. 

I completely understand the reasons behind eliminating spring break this semester, but after going through the entire fall semester with no breaks and nothing exciting to look forward to (such as Tip-Off), I already know this semester is going to be a struggle without that week-long break we dream of. 

It’s not even that I want to go off on a mini vacation — though I wouldn’t complain about one, seeing as I do miss traveling — it’s simply that I’m going to need a break from the overwhelming amount of work that accompanies remote learning. And I know that most students would agree that non-stop school for three months with no breaks and no excitement simply isn’t feasible.

Given the circumstances, I’ve been trying my best to stay involved virtually, but sadly it’s just not the same. I imagine almost everyone is feeling the same way as I do – attending events and classes online puts a bit of a damper on the usual excitement of the spring semester. 

My best hope is that as the vaccine becomes more widely available  and the weather begins to warm up, more outdoor events will be able to be held, letting us take a slight step away from the virtual nature of the world we are living in. 

As I sit here staring at my computer for the ninth hour of the day, I can only hope that the Fall 2021 semester will emerge from the ashes of this past year with some stability and even excitement.