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Student Blog: Reflecting on an In-Person Semester

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This past semester was the first completely in-person semester I have had since my freshman year!

Student Blog: Reflecting on an In-Person Semester
Photo from Alleged Witches

Zoom school was not easy. When I was doing college on Zoom, I dreamed of going back to in person classes because it was just not the same online. It was hard to stay motivated, and it felt like a common sentiment that we as students were receiving more work than ever before, simply because we were online. I know I felt like I was drowning, and I was not taking care of myself the way that I should have been.

When I found out that this fall semester would be in person, I was so excited. But I was also nervous. I have my opinions about universities' COVID protocols. I was also nervous because it seemed like an unrealistic expectation that everyone would just be able to jump back in at 100% and pretend that everything is completely normal and safe again.

This last semester ended up being what was probably the best semester I have had so far in college. It was also one of the most challenging semesters I have ever had.

Studio was overall much better this year, of course, because it was in person. It was also better, though, because this was my first semester in upper level. In Tisch drama, your first two years are "primary" training to be completed in your assigned studio, then the next one-two years can be spent in your primary studio or another studio that has an upperclassman and/or transfer track (that you get into).

I chose to stay in ETW, my primary studio, this last semester, and it was pretty different than it was my first two years. First off, we get to choose our classes in ETW upper level, which meant that I got to take classes with some of my favorite teachers and some new teachers! Also, everyone in upper level chose to be there, so there was a wonderful sense of community and comradery. My classmates were by far one of the best parts of this last semester.

I also did my first journalism (my double major) classes in person this semester. I came to find that the journalism building is now one of my favorite spots on campus because it has what is probably my favorite place to do my homework on campus. I sit in front of this huge window that faces eastward, and I can see all the way to the river and Brooklyn; it was really nice to sit there when the leaves changed colors in autumn.

My journalism classes were an interesting experience in person. They were far more academic than my studio classes, and they were also discussion-based. I saw a pretty big difference in how much I learned in my academic classes in person than I did online. I learned a lot about how to write journalistically, and I interviewed some really cool people. I wasn't sure at the beginning of the semester that I wanted to continue my journalism double major, but, even though it is A LOT of work, I found out that I do actually enjoy it.

This semester was also the first time I got to do shows in person in college! A friend of mine wrote a musical that we were supposed to do a staged reading of during our freshman year, but it got cancelled because of the pandemic. However, this year, we finally did the reading!

The highlight of my semester was definitely being in an indie. In ETW, seniors are given the chance to create and produce their own show in their final semester. I was lucky enough to be a part of one of the indies this year. It was called "Alleged Witches," and it was a piece that we devised around the poem "Half Hanged Mary" by Margaret Atwood. We took influences from modern pop culture (namely, Taylor Swift), books, and our own lives. Our director, Julia (also the person whose indie it was), was brilliant, and I'm so proud of what this project came to be. It was such a breath of fresh air to be able to create this amazing, empowering, feminist, work with this incredible group. It was also so nice to be reminded of the exhilaration and fun that is doing live theatre.

Even though this semester brought challenges - double-major workload; doing two shows at once; having to adjust to doing so much in person all the time again; etc. - I felt like I grew so much as an artist and as a person. This was also my first semester living in an apartment, which was also a learning experience. Overall, I have learned so much, and I'm so grateful that we were able to be back in person! I really hope that people continue wearing our masks, getting boosters (and vaccines, if you haven't already!), and taking as many precautions as we can, so that maybe someday in the future we can return to non-COVID times. Stay safe and happy new year!


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From This Author Student Blogger: Sydni Dichter