As the semester comes to an end, it is time to look back at the University of Maryland’s first full in-person school year since the pandemic.
Although masks were required in classrooms and buildings, it was great to be back and interacting with students and professors in class and around campus.
For seniors, it was a good end to their college careers that was cut short for a year and a half due to COVID-19.
“I’m just glad that we were able to be in person this year and not have any shutdowns or outbreaks on campus,” senior biology major Luke Phillips said.
Phillips has been at the school all four years and experienced the entirety of the COVID-19 shutdown as a Terp.
It was the middle of his sophomore year when everything went online, so he wishes he was able to get back that valuable college experience that was taken from him.
“My advice for freshman or sophomores would be to just take advantage of the time you have,” he said. “It goes by a lot quicker than you think.”
Phillips’ roommate and mechanical engineering major Siddarth Karunakaran echoed his advice for underclassmen.
“Make friends that you enjoy being around,” he said. “You don’t want to look back at college and regret what you did and who you did it with.”
The two have lived together for the past three years and were excited to be back in person for their final semesters in College Park.
For them, the year flew by.
“I can’t believe it’s almost over. It literally feels like syllabus week just ended,” Phillips said.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, sophomore kinesiology major Mason Britt feels that his college journey is only beginning.
Britt was initially upset that his freshman year was only virtual, but he realized that he has three more years to make up for it.
“I’ve been trying to do as much as I can now that we’re in person and can leave our apartments to go places,” he said.
He wants to make the most of the time he has left in College Park because he knows that it can be taken from him in an instant.
The ability to attend sporting events in person as a fan again was something that he missed as a freshman last year, so he made sure he was at every game he could.
“It was different last year having to watch the empty stadiums and not have the chance to be in the student section,” he said. “I think I went to every home football game and plan on doing the same next year.”
For seniors, the semester was the end to a college career unlike many have seen before. A year and a half of online classes due to a pandemic and having to wear a mask inside of buildings when they returned.
For underclassmen, the semester was the beginning of their tenure at the University of Maryland and, hopefully, an exciting start to the next two or three years of their lives.