After 11 grueling months of staying at home, some of Bellarmine’s students are finally able to make their long-awaited return to campus.

So many students were optimistic that they were able to come back during August; unfortunately, however, we all know COVID delayed our return. This led students to take the entire first semester on their devices, while all interaction with their friends and teachers were all virtual. So, when our school was finally permitted to open once again, students were eager to go back to class.

According to Riley Brown ’23, “I enjoy going back to school as it allows me to see people I have not since the beginning of the pandemic. I also find it is easier to communicate in-person than it is online. The only critique I have for in-person is that I think it would have been better if we had a map including where the tents are as it was hard to find some of them. Overall my experience with in-person learning was very positive, and I hope that sometime soon we can all be back on campus.” For many other Bells, this was the same sentiment they felt once they returned to campus. We all realize that talking on Teams is not as fun or ideal as being able to have real communication in person. Additionally, being able to walk around campus and get some physical activity is another bonus of being back on campus. The only negative Riley finds in on-campus learning is that it is sometimes difficult to know where all the health-check tents are.

Ultimately, students going back to campus also affects students who are currently at home. First of all, it allows students to remember the classrooms and see where they would have studied if COVID did not occur. Moreover, with some teachers returning to campus, it makes the classroom experience feel more genuine because teachers enjoy seeing their students as well. Ultimately, hybrid learning makes it a positive experience for all. The only issue is that sometimes it is difficult to communicate with the students in class if you are in the same group as them. Another problem is that teachers sometimes call on the students in class, and teachers sometimes forget to check hands on the Teams call. However, these are all small complaints compared to the enjoyment of being able to see one another and being able to remember our campus more.

Hopefully, in the near future, all students can return to campus within the end of this year or the beginning of next year where we can greet the new freshmen.