Students excited for in-person experiences, campus communities

K-State Fall 2021 Activities Carnival located in the student union. Over 100 student organizations hosted booths throughout the union allowing students the opportunity to speak to organizations directly. Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021. (Dylan Connell | Collegian Media Group)

Packed classrooms, buzzing dining halls and a campus brimming with people walking every which way — all of these aspects Kansas State students had nearly forgotten were a part of the college experience have returned.

The world is slowly emerging from the pandemic after a year-and-a-half, and students are excited about in-person classes and events.

“I’m excited to get to interact with my classmates and instructors in-person,” Brodie Rathbone, senior in secondary chemistry education, said. “I learn much better when I am actually in class doing hands-on learning instead of just a computer screen. It’s also nice to build relationships with other people in my major to help me learn better.”

For Joscelyne Espinoza, sophomore in fashion studies, living in Manhattan and being at K-State is long overdue. Espinoza attended school remotely from her home in Wichita during her freshman spring semester to save money after learning all of her classes were online.

“I’m so excited to be back on campus with my friends,” Espinoza said. “From living at home, I wasn’t able to focus very well because there were a lot of distractions at home. Being in that environment is not the best for learning, because home is where I relax and spend time with my family. Living with my friends in an apartment this year in Manhattan is already better for focusing and having priorities.”

Hoping for a college experience full of companionship, fond memories and well-rounded education, Espinoza looks to immerse herself on campus this year.

“I’m most excited for trying to meet new people and maybe trying to get more involved in school activities and functions,” Espinoza said. “Personally, I think in-person is a better way of learning than being online.”

Rathbone said he is eager to return to old habits that provided a lively and enjoyable atmosphere as a Wildcat.

“I’m really looking forward to eating at the [Derby Dining Center] and not having to take it out,” Rathbone said. “Getting the community at the Derby community is so nice, especially without the COVID restrictions in the Derb.”

Students can also take advantage of the many clubs and organizations at K-State returning to in-person meetings as restrictions minimize. Espinoza found fellowship in student ministry organizations her freshman year and is enthusiastic about experiencing that community again.

“I’m excited to get back into being involved with student ministry organizations. That was something I definitely was sad about leaving when I moved home last year,” Espinoza said. “I want to get back into StuMo and church because it was really fun, and I enjoyed getting out there and meeting people and getting involved. It is such a great community, and I really missed it when I was at home.”

Students attending in-person classes and events are still required to wear masks per university guidelines.