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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

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A mid-semester social battery check in

Photo by Paulina Veremchuk. A worn-out Wofford student. Balancing school and social life has been different this semester with a more open campus.

COVID-19 made an impact on Wofford’s social and academic routine. 

However, with most of the campus population vaccinated and mask regulations in place, it seems to many as though Wofford is taking a step towards returning to the concept of “normalcy.”

Occupied seats in Zach’s, full classrooms, dine-in options at Burwell, parties in the Greek Village have all served as indicators of the campus returning to its former self. 

Back in the  full swing of things, it seems that students have forgotten how to balance academic and social life. The excitement of typical socialization alongside packed class requirements has led some students to hit a mid-semester “slump.” 

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“Managing school and socialization seems more difficult than it was before the pandemic,” said Paige Mahoney ’22. “It has definitely been challenging to get back into a routine of balancing my social life and schoolwork.”

The Greek Village, otherwise known as “the Row,” is the main source for weekend entertainment for Wofford students. Before this fall, the Row had not been fully open since early Spring of 2020. 

Being back in operation after so long, it is no surprise that students swarm the Greek houses every weekend.

A mid-semester check-in survey was sent to Wofford students, asking them how they are managing to find balance between socializing and academics. 

Students were asked to rate their social and academic batteries on a scale of 1-5. A rating of “1” meant no energy, whereas “5” meant lots of energy. Most students surveyed rated their social batteries on the weekend to be at a 5. 

This is most likely due to the long-awaited opening of the row. For upperclassmen, most are trying to relish in their last semesters with a “normal” social experience before graduating.

Aden Partee ’22 echoed this sentiment. “Socialization has been a higher priority for me this semester, as I try to savor my last memories with my college friends,” Partee said.

In addition to the increased socialization, it has been a relief for most students and professors to be back in the classroom. 

Attending class via Zoom had its perks for some students, like rolling out of bed to log into class. However, returning to in-person classes has allowed for students to engage with one another once again.

Associate Professor of Religion Phillip Dorroll expressed the switch back to in-person classes as a “relief.” Dorroll has noticed an increase in engagement in his classes. “I’ve actually had some of the best groups of students this semester that I have ever had in my eight-plus years of teaching at Wofford,” he said.

Similar to Dorroll, Associate Professor of English Carey Voeller was quick to express his excitement for being back in a classroom. “It’s where I want to be,” he said. “What felt artificial and strange — even depressing — was Zoom.  Seeing only 1/3 of my class at a time was awful.”

Voeller has noticed some exhaustion in his students and is understanding that the transition back to “normal” has been exciting, yet abrupt and difficult.

For Hampton Randall ’23, finding a balance between academics and socializing has been difficult, as expected. He noticed exhaustion in his peers and professors too. “My academic battery has been low, but I don’t think I am alone in this,” said Randall. 

The re-introduction to an active, open campus at Wofford has been oddly strange. Students who had just adjusted to the normalcy of mask wearing and social distancing now deal with the almost foreign feeling of an open campus.

Outside of studying and homework, smiles fill Wofford’s campus with open sporting events, Greek life events, Homecoming and Parents Weekends, and more. 

If Wofford students can readjust through college during a pandemic, they certainly can readjust to the opening of campus. 

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