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Impending In-Person Fall Semester Creates High Expectations

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

By: Katelyn Norris

At the beginning of March 2021, Bellarmine confirmed its planning for an in-person fall 2021 semester, and this has sparked many expectations among the 2024 and 2025 classes.

First-year student Madyson Lira said she and her cohort have not gotten to experience everything college life has to offer.

“I’ve not been able to witness normal things like big events because I hear everyone else talking about them. They’re like ‘Oh this is so fun. It’s just such a great time,’” Lira said. “I’ve always had a yearning to see what the hype was all about.”

Lira during her first year at BU. Photo provided by Lira.

Incoming chemistry major Celeste Huddleston from Seymour, Indiana said her last two years of high school have been taken over by hybrid and online classes. She said she is ready to jump into an in-person semester to make up for the loss.

“I would love to spend the fall semester getting used to studying and getting a good foundation for my grades,” Huddleston said. “But I also want to learn how to have fun. I would love to gain some experiences and do what I can while being safe.”

Incoming student Huddleston. Photo provided by Huddleston.

Huddleston said her senior year of high school hasn’t felt normal at all and she wants to gain a sense of normalcy at Bellarmine. She said she wants to meet people, have class in a classroom and get to learn in an environment productive for her.

“I really think that meeting the right people will be a breath of fresh air and I can finally go out and be social. Being interactive with other people is something I love, and I can’t wait to finally do that,” Huddleston said.

Incoming clinical psychology major Hannah Wedding from Owensboro, Kentucky said she is ready for in-person learning. She said she finds it hard to jump from in-person classes to online classes and her online classes prove challenging.

“With in-person class, I’ll be able to understand the material better. My current online classes most of my teachers will just assign work and not really explain it super well; then there are internet issues and they cut out and then you miss part of the content,” Wedding said.

Lira said she has felt similarly about her first-year classes at BU. She said when she is offered the option to be online or in-person she will opt to be online, so she does not have to be focused in class. Lira said she has made an effort to go to her in-person classes this semester because she knows it helps her focus in class and learn material.

“I chose in-person [classes] because I know I’m forced to listen and I’m in front of the teacher who has my full attention. It is also to make connections with others, and I’ve definitely made a lot of friends,” Lira said.

First-year student Adam Smart said he is ready to get back into the classroom for the fall semester. He said the hybrid and online classes have limited him in his nursing labs and he feels he is missing important skills.

“When you’re in lab, the intent is to build those skills you will need for later. But with online classes and limited in-person courses, I missed out in the opportunity to gain those skills and experiences,” Smart said.

Incoming psychology major Kayla Puffer from Louisville said she is looking forward to the opportunity for freedom once she comes to Bellarmine. She said she has enjoyed being inside during the pandemic, but said she looks forward to gaining independence by living on campus.

Incoming student Puffer posing for a photo. Photo provided by Puffer.

“I am just looking forward to meeting people and getting to experience all the things I have missed,” Puffer said. “I want to take advantage of my space at Bellarmine and gain independence and establish connections.”

Incoming computer science and engineering student Casey Klein from Georgetown, Kentucky said he has tempered his expectations for the fall. He said he knows he’ll be able to meet more people and make friends but he is still worried about the limitations with Covid.

Klein posing by his sign during his tour at BU. Photo provided by Klein.

“My goal is to just ease into things. We all made a Snapchat group from the Bellarmine Facebook group, and we’ve all become really good friends,” Klein said. “I can’t wait to meet them in person and do fun things together.”

Wedding said despite all of the hardship students went through this year, she is ready to come to Bellarmine and get the experiences she has missed. She said she is ready to see all that Louisville and Bellarmine have to offer her.

“I’m really excited to meet people and see fresh faces. But I am ready to get out of my small town and see people from everywhere pour into the Bellarmine community,” Wedding said.


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