Students returned to in-person classes for the 2021-22 school year.
Students relaxing on the grand staircase.
A collection of people waiting outside Dorsey Learning Hall for class to begin.
Someone frantically running up the stairs to grab her backpack to make sure she didn’t lose her spot in a focus room.
The 2021-22 school year has begun, and the students—and life in Luddy Hall—are back.
The Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering welcomed students for in-person classes Aug. 23 as Indiana University returned to some semblance of normalcy for the first time since spring 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic forced most learning to move to the virtual realm last school year, and although online learning is still an aspect of some classes, returning to the classroom—albeit with required masks—is the focus for IU and the Luddy School.
“The start of every academic year is always so much fun,” said Dennis Groth, interim dean at the Luddy School. “It’s great to see the students back and all the excitement they bring with them, especially our new students and international students. They’re thrilled to be here. Their parents are thrilled for them to be here. And I’m really excited, too. You can feel the energy in the town, and I’m really delighted that we’re able to be back in-person and see the campus come alive.”
One of those students who is excited to be in-person is sophomore Mariel Oshel. She spent her freshman year working mostly in her dorm room, and just being around other people has given her a hop in her step.
“Oh, gosh, I’m so excited to actually be going to classes this year,” Oshel said. “I didn’t do very well last year because, it turns out, I’m not great at managing my time when it’s completely online. I’m really glad to have a real schedule and make real-life connections with my classmates.”
Rob Hageboeck is a senior at the Luddy School, but the first day of classes was a new experience for him, too. He transferred to IU prior to his junior year, and he spent last year in the virtual realm. But this year…
“It’s like my first day of college again,” Hageboeck said. “I transferred toward the beginning of COVID, and I didn’t expect it to go on this long. I thought I would be back to in-person in a couple months or for the second half of the year last year. It’s great to be in-person and getting to know people again.”
Emma Kalvelage is a sophomore who is also excited to feel a sense of community.
“It’s great to be in a classroom and work in person with people again,” Kalvelage said. “There is such a great community on this campus, but last year, we couldn’t see it in its true form because so many people were focused on working in their dorm or apartment. It’s a very different environment now, and I like it so much better. Everyone will go to different places in their lives once they graduate, but it’s great to be together again while we work to get where we’re going.”
Freshman Jayda Poage arrived on campus more than a week ago, and as a resident in Luddy’s Living Learning Center, she has already enjoyed a host of events that have made her comfortable on campus. The first day of classes, however, has her excited for the year.
“I’m just excited to be learning new activities for informatics,” Poage said. “I earned an associate degree in general studies and software development while I was in high school, and I’d love to be in web development. Getting a chance to be in Luddy Hall and see all the programs they offer and take the first step toward my degree is something I’ve been looking forward to for a while.”