Students reflect on being back in Bowdoin, feet on campus, sitting in class

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“I feel like walking in the quads that people are really excited to be here,” said Jeremy Hoyne Grosvenor ’22, sitting next to his friend Peter Littman ’23 outside Thorne after having finished brunch on Saturday. “It’s so cool to walk past the tents and see the rehearsals play out, all the music and the theater.”

Others appreciate being able to have once seemingly ordinary meetings. “I can see my teachers in person and have conversations with them that are not on Zoom,” said Rebekah Kim ’25.

Littman also marveled at the changes that had taken place on the long dormant campus. “The campus is a lot livelier. There are more outings and things to do, more events, a lot more social gatherings. Last year has been more isolated.”

Due to the isolation and challenges of distance learning, a few students chose to be away until Bowdoin returned in person.

After trying the online classes, Melody Khoriati ’21 decided to take a year off. They lived in Topsham, tutoring young math and science students and teaching children whitewater kayaking. “Being back is good. I enjoy being in class again,” Khoriati said. “It’s good to see people again, to make plans and to work with people, to spend time with people again. The social element is an important part of learning.”

The social element, which was somewhat lacking last year, was a big reason students said distance learning was inferior to in-person learning.

“I love school. I like to be with my friends and to build relationships. All the things that really matter were gone last year, ”said freshman Leila Robb. “All connections. I love working and writing articles. But when there wasn’t this community, I was done. So I love being back in school and being here.”

Yet while the isolation wasn’t fun, Littman said it wasn’t all bad for him. “I didn’t like the quiet, but it helped me focus on school,” he said. “It was a good learning experience for me in some cases.”

But now the campus is invigorating and the possibilities are endless.

“Nobody really knows what to expect,” said sophomore Christine Ramos. “The culture is not as it used to be – we did not receive any advice from the upper class students. We were all separated. So I am delighted to see where this is going now.”

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