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Centennial Field in 2020.

Over a year has passed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and dorm life at Kent State has been heavily affected. Many students who have returned to campus this year have noticed the residence halls being less active with the added regulations. 

Stephanie Swain, a junior hospitality management major, has lived on campus for the past three years. “I remember campus being a lot more active. People were always outside and doing something. You could hang out with your friends without worrying about getting sick. It was nice,” Swain said. 

Although COVID-19 has taken away a lot of college experience from most students, Swain doesn’t see a difference when it comes to dorm life. “Living in the dorms is pretty much the same. There are just more safety measures,” Swain said. 

Swain said she noticed there are still loud people, people who like to party until early morning, people studying in the lounges and people who are entering and leaving the dorm during all hours of the day. However, others see dorm life as completely different. 

Niko Negron, a sophomore computer information systems major, remembers campus being “populated with multiple events and career opportunities for students.” Now, he thinks there are too many safety regulations.

“The rules and regulations are making it impossible to even experience a normal college career,” says Negron. “You don’t meet people. There are four or five new kids on our floor, but I’ve never seen them due to the fear of new people and getting the virus.” 

Many new students who haven’t experienced college life before the pandemic think entering college during this time is stressful and difficult. Megan Sabo, a sophomore speech pathology and audiology major, describes her college experience as “a very difficult year where it is hard to do anything. You can’t meet new people, professors give you too much work, and the rules are ruining the experience. It’s not what I expected college to be like at all.”

With the lower number of students on-campus, in addition to the Flashes Safe Eight COVID-19 restrictions, many students believe this past year can never compare to the college experience before the pandemic. 

As people are receiving vaccinations and we wait for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, college students hope to return to a normal college experience.

Morgan Cummings is a housing reporter. Contact her at mcummi19@kent.edu.

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