Class of 2024 discusses ‘disorienting’ experience being second-year students during first full year on campus

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Some sophomores were orientation leaders despite not having their own in-person orientation the year prior. (Photo courtesy of Jess Langlois ’24)

Lisa Green

From missing out on the end of their senior year of high school to attending their first semesters of college virtually, the class of 2024 has had its fair share of atypical firsts and lasts.

Many sophomores feel like they are still playing catch-up.

“I call the sophomores… third-semester freshmen, because it feels like we’re still babies,” Sophie Himmel ‘24 said. “We still don’t know much about the college.”

Emily Tesbir ‘24 echoed this statement.

“The school itself is so different, in terms of how the dining halls work and all the little stuff,” Tesbir said. “I feel like I have to relearn it all.”

The amount of time that has passed since the last fully in-person experience of the sophomore class has taken a toll. Olivia Bamford ‘24 said that she had to remember “how to be a real student” because she was no longer used to the in-person schooling experience.

“Even though I’ve had [school] a majority of my life, I almost feel like I’ve never done this before,” Bamford said of attending in-person classes.

Bamford was not the only sophomore who had trouble acclimating to the in-person semester.

“I feel homesick more than I did last semester. I just feel like there’s a lot that I don’t know here,” Sarah Smith ’24 said. “Last year, there was a routine. There were things in place. And this year’s a lot more uncertain and unpredictable.”

This disorienting feeling was amplified for sophomores who led first-year orientation, learning how to navigate campus at the same time as their first-years. Jess Langlois ‘24 said that she told her group she does not know where any classrooms are either.

“We were figuring it out together,” Langlois said.

According to Michala Dennis ’24, one unexpected challenge that accompanied the first in-person semester has been the pressure to make up for lost time by getting involved.

“There’s a lot more opportunities that are available, and I’m a person who likes to get involved. There’s so much on my plate right now, and it’s the same classes. It’s so much to handle,” Dennis said. 

However, getting involved with organizations on campus has also allowed sophomores to connect with one another. Himmel cited SHEESH as the main way she met new people. Dennis said her personal highlight has been participating as a member of the Music Appreciation Floor

“Being on campus now, I feel how much life there is, especially in between the nine to eleven period on the quad. It’s always full of people walking and talking and I feel like that wasn’t a thing at all last semester,” Bamford said.