Coming Back to Hanover: Quarantine Edition
Because of this pandemic, I've been off-campus my freshman spring, summer, and sophomore fall, which is especially surreal since I've really been on campus for two terms: freshman fall and winter. So now that I'm finally back on campus, it's been so long that it really feels like I'm a freshman discovering Hanover for the first time. Everything just seems so new again.
Even coming back to Dartmouth was surreal. I took the Dartmouth Coach to campus. For those of you who don't know, the Dartmouth Coach is the bus line that runs between the Boston airport and Hanover. It serves almost exclusively the Dartmouth community because, let's face it, unless you're going to the college there's no reason for you to come to Hanover.
Admittedly, part of me was scared of taking the bus. In my experience, the bus to Dartmouth when you're coming to campus is packed, which is not ideal in the time of coronavirus. Luckily, though, the Dartmouth Coach doubled the amount of buses they were running, and I essentially had a whole row to myself. Not really something to complain about.
Even when I got to campus it's pretty clear that they're taking coronavirus seriously. I mean, once I got to my dorm there was just a massive bag of free masks waiting for me, and hand sanitizer. And none of that off-brand, labelless stuff either. I mean GermX. The good kind that doesn't dry out your hands. I feel like a king.
And of course, the facilities aren't bad either. Part of my biggest fear coming back to school was that I was going to spend pretty much 80% of my time in my room, with 90% of that being at my desk. I didn't expect much. Just enough space for my laptop, keyboard, maybe a notebook. I didn't really expect a desk as big as I got. Like literally long enough to sleep on. Long enough that I can shove all my disorganized garbage to the edge of my desk and still give off the appearance of a clean desk when I take this photo. Back at home, I had to do all my homework with my laptop in front of me and a notebook on my lap, so it's definitely an upgrade to actually have enough space to put down my notebook.
This term is definitely going to be different. But from the massive amount of free masks and spaced out buses, I'm glad that Dartmouth is really doing everything it can to keep us safe—especially given that some of our students are immunocompromised. Honestly? I'm really looking forward to this term. Let's see how it goes.