December 14, 2021 at 12:15pm
Aly Armstrong, Class of 2021

Approaching two years of the pandemic, students weigh in on campus experiences

The world is approaching two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students, faculty, staff and those around the Millikin University community are starting to feel a sense of normalcy. But is this normal the same as it was before the pandemic? We continue to wear masks around campus and at indoor events, some classes are still taught in a hybrid format or even fully online. Even though it is not the same normal as before, are we venturing into a time where the current environment is considered the new normal?

Everyone on campus is excited that events have returned. Millikin is continuing to make sure that students are remaining comfortable and safe when attending, and when it comes to wearing a mask, it has become a part of people's everyday routine.

Nate Earley-Ochwada, an acting major from New Albany, Ind., was asked if he has been able to attend any events on campus this year and what that experience was like for him.

"Yes, I have attended events in person. A lot of the events that I've attended in person have, in my opinion, been organized very well to the point where I not only am having fun, but also feeling safe," he said. "Being a sophomore and having this pandemic happening since the beginning of college has definitely changed the way that I expect events to happen, but so far it's met and exceeded my expectations."

After being cautious for almost two years, people are working into the swing of what they see as normal. Some students have attended the most events that they ever have at Millikin, this year. Julia Mlyknowski, a stage management major from Arlington Heights, Ill., says that she has been more willing than ever to go to events on campus. She wants to try her best to catch up on everything that she missed during the pandemic.

Being open-minded and ready to make adjustments has helped students remain successful on campus. When asked how adjusting to this new normal has been for her, Mlyknowski says, "I've adjusted by giving myself patience and time to relearn how to interact with the world and my surroundings during a global shutdown."

She adds, "I think it's important to realize how much we've changed in these past two years and be willing to adapt to changes."

Everyone experiences things in their own way and your "new normal" may not be the same as someone else's. Ashley Estrada, a human services and Spanish double major from Elgin, Ill., said that being more cautious in her everyday life has become more normal for her. When asked what the biggest takeaway from her experience was, Estrada said, "It's okay to not have everything figured out and to take things day by day."

Millikin students are encouraged to attend events held on campus and make the most of the academic year during what is now considered the "new normal." An important thing to remember is to really make the most of the Millikin experience, and that if you need any help during this time, reach out.