Part of the nature of attending college during a global pandemic is change. Nearly every aspect of campus life has had to be altered to conform with health and safety guidelines – from required mask-wearing to social-distancing within the classroom, and even adapting for remote learning.
Nothing is immune to the effects of COVID-19, perhaps even the longstanding tradition of College Night. With every other part of campus life changing, it is inevitable that College Night will have to adapt to our pandemic-tinged reality. But how do these potential changes alter the perceptions some freshmen students have about College Night?
Baker also predicted that fewer people will participate this year, as she stated, “Naturally, this whole year has brought down morale.”
Other freshmen shared a similar sentiment as well.
Megan Davis, an undeclared major, stated that she believes fewer freshman will get involved this year, as most don’t already have connections with either Purple or Gold side. Social distancing making it more difficult to meet people who would otherwise convince them to join a particular side.
English major, Piper Hollingsworth, also worried that “a lot of the spirit” might be taken out of College Night and that “the true competition of College Night won’t be there this year.”
Laura Griffin, art major, shared a similar view as well, determining that any change will be hard due to the tradition of it all.
While it is fair to say that some of the appeal and draw may be diminished for many freshmen, anticipation still remains. Even as they were apprehensive, these freshmen still expressed excitement for their first College Night.
Baker believes that changes could allow for more creativity throughout the process, allowing unique ideas and different points of view to be brought to the table, and could, ultimately, lead to a more interesting show, as well as “definitely bringing people together more.”
Davis commented that, coming in as a freshman, College Night was going to be a new and unique experience in the first place, saying that, given the circumstances of the year, “it would be weirder if it didn’t change.”
She also added that she’s optimistic that having to alter the tradition might lead to positive changes, “because if you’re forced to changed you might come up with better things.”
Hollingsworth seemed optimistic as well, stating, “Of course I still think it’ll be fun.”
Both Baker and Davis also expressed sentiments that this college night will feel more historic, with Baker stating it will, “feel special, in a way.”
Davis agreed, adding the she feels as though it will, “mean more later, looking back at it.”
But, perhaps, Baker best summed up the apprehensive optimism of many freshmen student in her statement, “This whole year has been weird, so it’s fitting that College Night is weird too.”
Cady Inabinett is the editor in chief of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies, caring for houseplants and generally just being pretentious in her free time.