Students spend summer on campus post COVID-19

Students+bask+in+the+sun+on+the+grounds+of+Ikenberry+Commons+on+Aug.+21.+Many+students+have+chosen+to+stay+on+campus+over+the+summer.

The Daily Illini File Photo

Students bask in the sun on the grounds of Ikenberry Commons on Aug. 21. Many students have chosen to stay on campus over the summer.

By Olivia Orlandi, Staff Writer

Summers on the University campus look a lot different than fall and spring semesters. Many students go home, bars are closed during the week and campus overall feels a bit empty.

Some students, however, are staying on campus this summer, whether it’s to take summer courses, hang out with their friends or just to stick around and work.

Last summer, with the pandemic in full swing, campus had little going on, bars were shut down, students went home to shelter in place and if they chose to stay on campus, they remained in their housing with little social interaction.

“It was honestly really depressing not being able to do anything,” said Zaria Tallie, senior in AHS. “I mostly just worked.”

Some students struggled with the lack of a social life during that summer.

Zara Nyhus, senior in LAS, spoke about being a transfer student during the height of a pandemic.

“It was unfortunate,” she said. “I really just wanted to meet people on campus, but obviously wasn’t able to due to COVID-19. Being forced to socially distance isn’t exactly the easiest way to make friends.”

For some students who didn’t stay on campus last summer, this summer is a way to make up for lost time.

Abby Svenson, senior in Business, said that living at home last summer was mostly used for mastering new hobbies and finding ways to occupy her time.

This summer, however, with COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in Champaign-Urbana, campus may look a little different.

While most of the student body has left campus, the ones choosing to stay have a little more freedom to do as they please. More summer activities are able to safely take place on campus this summer and restaurants and bars are open.

Whether plans for this summer include traveling, music festivals or just working, there is a lot more students are able to do compared to last summer, with in-person activities being held on campus.

“I’m going to some festivals in like three different states and a trip to Mexico, hopefully,” Nyhus said. “It’ll be great to have some sort of normalcy after last summer.”

The possibility of getting to make up for lost time may keep some students on campus this summer. Many of them are trying to make the most of their college experiences.

“I think this summer is going to be a lot different than last summer,” Svenson said. “I think people developed a fear of missing out and students are trying to stay on campus this summer because there’s a lot more fun to be had.”

[email protected]