Starting off my college career during a pandemic was not the ideal situation. Social distancing, masks, and only half of the student body on campus during both semesters proved difficult to forge new friendships and fully immerse myself in all Swarthmore has to offer. As more and more people become vaccinated and cases continue to drop, Swarthmore plans on returning to most, if not all, pre-COVID programming much to my delight. Experiencing that for the first time is something I’m very much anticipating.
As to be expected, one of my aspirations is to create more friendships with members of the student body. All the clubs I joined this past year were either fully on Zoom with people in different time zones scattered across the United States or not operating as they normally would. As a member of the Mock Trial club, we usually travel for our Regionals competition in February. I’m most excited to get on the bus with the team and make fond memories of practicing our directs and crosses ten minutes before our trial begins and cheering on our team.
In terms of food options on campus, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Crumb Cafe, a late night snack option run by students in Sharples. It opens at 9 pm every night serving milkshakes, avocado toast, and nachos amongst other delicious food items. This past year Crumb Cafe was not operating due to COVID regulations so I not only missed out on the scones and notorious bubble tea that is served but also the conservations (the best ones in my opinion) that arise sitting around a plate of loaded nachos at 11pm.
At a school like Swarthmore, it’s not uncommon for professors to invite their students over for dinner or to go on a field trip in or around Philadelphia. My history professor, Timothy Burke, who taught my First Year Seminar called Why College? The Past and Future of Liberal Arts, typically has all his students over the week before classes end to watch a documentary film and have dinner. That to me sounds like a great bonding experience between the class and the professor and is something that I’m really looking forward to going into my sophomore year.
What is college without the roommate experience? While it was very nice to have a double all to myself both semesters, I feel that I truly missed out on the late night chats and having a built in best friend. Living in a single was definitely isolating at times although I could blast my 80s music at random times without worrying about disrupting my roommate. I already have plans in the making of what my future dorm will look like.
All in all, I’m excited to live the true college life which in my unbiased opinion, is the best here at Swarthmore. At such an incredibly unique place, I have no doubt in my mind that this upcoming year will be nothing short of great.