When she was a freshman, special education & Spanish studies major Jaeda Oliver heard many people talk about the events and atmosphere of spring quarter, but was disappointed last spring when the campus closed because of the pandemic.
“I remember freshman year everybody was like, ‘just wait till spring quarter it’ll be so fun. It’ll be so sunny, all of these fun activities will happen,’ and then we didn’t get to do any of that,” Oliver said.
Philosophy and sociology major Shaely Spilker also remembers being told by other students to look forward to spring her first year, and now that she’s back on campus, she’s excited to finally be able to participate in some of the activities sophomores missed out on.
“We really just didn’t get that at all,” Spilker said. “So that’s partially why it’s so exciting to be here now, even though things are different, because we can actually have that fun experience that we were hoping to have last year.”
Last spring was a letdown for students like apparel design major Kellie Martin.
“Last spring quarter was awful,” Martin said. “It was no fun being at home because I had friends in class, but it wasn’t like going and exploring the city like I was hoping.”
Half of the student population has missed out on having a normal spring quarter, which has led some to feel like they have to catch up on the experiences they missed. Oliver recalls friends being surprised she hadn’t been to several popular attractions in Seattle after her first year.
“[Spring quarter] is when you go out and explore the city, because fall quarter we had just started college and so we didn’t really feel comfortable exploring, then winter quarter it was cloudy the entire time and the weather sucks,” Oliver said.
At the end of winter quarter last year, classes shifted to an online format, which completely derailed the normal college experience for first year students. As they head into their first spring quarter on campus, many are hopeful that they will finally get that real “college experience.”
“This feels like our first actual [spring] quarter even though it is so different, which is definitely strange because we’re finishing our second year,” Spilker said.
With the weather warming, many are eager to enjoy the outdoors, and students like Martin are ready for campus to become more lively.
“I love just getting to experience spring stuff like going to the beach and talking with friends, having friends in rooms and doing fun stuff, you know, and it’s not like freezing cold every time that you go outside to do like late-night drives and stuff like that,” Martin said.
Things may not be completely back to normal at SPU, but sophomores now have a chance to experience what a more normal spring quarter on campus is like.
“Obviously things are still a little different with COVID this year, but it’s just really exciting seeing everybody outside already throwing around a frisbee and kicking around a soccer ball,” Spilker said. “I feel like everybody’s just very optimistic, which is very encouraging.”