Class of 2024: The Zoom Class Graphic

Bookbag in hand, a timid freshman prepares to walk to their 8 a.m. class on the first day. High school has officially come to a close, and a new chapter has begun. Thoughts are going through their head about who they will meet and what clubs they will call their home. For some, they hope to decide what major will be the one for them.

Entering college, the Class of 2024 had it like no other. On the first day of classes in Fall 2020, the timid freshman opened up their laptop for classes. The entire 2020-2021 academic year was held over Zoom due to the pandemic. Now, with Saint Peter’s University having returned for its first in person semester since Spring 2020, the Class of 2024 got to experience what they would have gotten a year ago.

Sophomore Kaitlynn Peters, majoring in exercise science, was a member of the softball team during her freshman year.

Peters believed that even though her freshman year was not the typical first-year-of-college experience, it was still a good one.

“I would definitely say that my first year of college, being remote, was very different compared to this year,” Peters shared. “I felt like everyone on campus tried to socialize and participate in fun events as much as they could while following safety precautions. I was very surprised with how many new people I met during remote learning.”

Not only did the Class of 2024 have their freshman year of college defined by the pandemic, but in March 2020, they were the high school Class of 2020, having had to end their high school years remotely.

Sophomore Torian Jones, a major in criminal justice and minor in political science,

said that while she loved her freshman year, she was happy to have the campus experience in-person this year.

“It’s bittersweet, honestly,” explained Jones. “I made a few friends. I was involved with multiple clubs last year, but it’s great to see [those people] in person this year. I think communication among colleagues got better compared to how we were last year.”

Remote learning also forced an adjustment for athletics at the university.

“As a student athlete, I would say that my freshman year was a little different,” shared Peters. “However, I feel like our team as a whole did an excellent job adjusting to everything. Our schedule was a little different compared to previous years, and we didn't do much traveling last year. However, I am extremely excited for this year's season!”

Peters is involved not only as a student athlete on the softball team but is also class secretary for the Class of 2024 and the President of the Health and Fitness Club.

“My first semester in-person was amazing this fall,” she said. “I have made so many incredible new friends and became very involved on campus. For me, in-person learning was an even bigger advantage for me to grow and learn.”

Sophomore Mishree Patel has had a lot of work on her plate as a nursing major, but she’s enjoying being on campus.

“My first semester has been great! I have made many new friends,” said Patel. “I have not gotten involved in any club mainly because I am a nursing major. I work in a nursing home and tutor a kid on the side. I'm also in the honors program, and that's how I got involved in tutoring. It is much more social than my freshman year.”

Patel felt burnt-out from high school when she entered her first semester, so to her, online school gave her more time to herself.

“While school was online, it gave me time to kind of recover from that burnout,” Patel explained. “I did not meet anyone remotely. I was not really involved. I took that time to really focus on myself.”

Now, the Class of 2024 can finally say that they have experienced SPU in full after a long year of being on the screen.

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