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Moving Moments

New students arrive on campus looking forward to post-pandemic world

This past week the scene in the parking lots near the Bridgewater State University residence halls was one of parents giving last hugs before saying goodbye as their children started their next adventure without them.

Kris Hogan of Easton did one last sweep of her car, making sure everything was carefully placed into the pushcart before shutting the door and heading over to Weygand Hall, her daughter Alexa Barger’s new home.

“I definitely have mixed feelings,” Hogan said about dropping off Alexa for her first year at BSU. “But I’m excited for her and ready for a good year.”

Bridgewater State students descended on campus during “Crimson Days” with new students moving in on Aug. 30 and 31. (Aviation majors and some student-athletes arrived earlier in the month.)

This fall marks what some feel is the first “normal” semester since COVID-19 appeared in early 2020. Due to the pandemic, many schools, including BSU, scrambled to put safety protocols in place that included mandatory mask mandates.

“I’m thankful that I missed all of that,” Alexa said. “I’m ready to have a brand-new start and experience something new.”

This semester, the BSU campus is mask-optional except for classroom and instructional spaces. However, faculty now have the option of waiving those requirements.

Freshman Matthew Goddard of Taunton can speak to how different this year is compared to 2020 and 2021. His older brother Tyler is a BSU senior this year and had his college career interrupted because of the global pandemic.

“I’m looking forward to having a true college experience, especially as we come out of COVID. We have a little more freedom, something we haven’t seen in a couple of years,” Matthew said.

With that freedom, comes independence, which freshman Terry Finch of Brockton looks forward to.

“I’m definitely entering a new phase in terms of being an adult. This is college!” he said. “BSU has a really nice campus, and I’m ready to experience this part of my life. I feel like I’m going to excel at this school.”

New friends and roommates Alani Fowlkes and Sarah Evangelista were already out and about exploring the campus after getting settled into their room in Shea and Durgin Halls.

“It’s all new and a lot to adjust to, but so far it’s been fun,” Alani said.

“I’m looking forward to getting to know new people and hope my classes go well,” Sarah said.

Figuring it out is all part of the college process, said freshman Steven Moran of Braintree. “I’m looking forward to seeing what my classes are like, finding new friends and seeing where I fit in,” he said. “I feel really lucky to be able to come in without heavy restrictions and starting my college experience.”

Fall classes start on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

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