The pandemic that began in 2020 changed the world, college campuses and how students respond and adapt to the challenges that lockdowns, Zoom classes and hybrid classes presented. In this ongoing series, Franklin & Marshall students discuss their experiences over the last 19 months.
Name: Arden Hitchcock (she/her)
Class Year: 2024
Major (or intended major): Government and women's, gender, and sexuality studies (pre-law)
What town do you call home?: Catonsville, Md.
Activities at F&M: Sophomore class president, editor of FEM&M, social media liaison for SAVE (Sexual Assault & Violence Elimination), vice president of event management for Alpha Delta Pi
Tell us about your last year at F&M:
I was fortunate to be able to be on campus last fall; while it was by no means a traditional introduction to college life, I was able to immerse myself in campus culture and form lasting friendships.
What did you find challenging?
It was certainly more difficult to adjust to college life in the middle of a pandemic!
What did you find rewarding?
Getting involved in multiple campus organizations helped me to feel more secure and connected to the F&M community, particularly when I was remote. Also, the personal relationships I've formed over the past year have been just incredible — I'm lucky to have found a supportive, sincere group of friends.
What are you looking forward to this year?
I'm looking forward to a promising year of somewhat normalcy. It's so exciting to see people wandering around campus — it feels so lively, and there's just this general sense of gratitude for being able to be back on campus.
What challenges do you foresee this year?
I certainly foresee challenges with adjusting from online to in-person classes. So far the transition has been pretty smooth, so I hope it continues to be!
Have you found a place on campus that is meaningful to you?
I love studying at the Martin Library of Sciences; it just reminds me of drinking far too much coffee and being in shambles during finals with my best friends.
What advice do you have for other sophomores like you?
Take a breath and make time for yourself. It's hard to be mindful and responsive to what you need during periods of change. Take a step back and make sure you're looking out for your own needs. At the end of the day, your mind and body will thank you.
“I love studying at the Martin Library of Sciences; it just reminds me of drinking far too much coffee and being in shambles during finals with my best friends.”