By Hussein Ali Rifath
This past summer, we all had our own adventures: some of us worked and some of us went abroad, while others relaxed back home. But now, school is back in session and Adelphi’s sophomore class has returned. Today, we are all united by the sense of familiarity we got coming back to campus for the first time. Each of us is joined by a community of peers who, like them, have returned to this campus that we had only discovered a year ago.
For everyone, the start of the school year has meant a change of lifestyle. Many commuter students now spend their entire days on campus, as opposed to none during the summer.
“I'm normally here from 9 am until 7 p.m.,” says sophomore Alina Hassan. Every minute she spends here, however, feels worth it. “Coming back here feels a little bit like escapism. I don't have to deal with the rush of the city. The city is so chaotic for me. This is more leisurely.”
Sophomore Maggie Lin has a similar story. “I actually forgot about [Adelphi]. It’s mostly because I was occupied by work — I work at a fast food restaurant,” she said.
She’d work the closing shift from 5 pm to 2 am, which forced her to adopt an unconventional sleep schedule. Coming back to Adelphi has been a return to the norm: “I get home so much earlier. I get my time. I get to have a normal sleep schedule.” By all accounts, the start of the school year has given her a sigh of relief. “I’m actually happier in school. Adelphi is fun.”
Last summer, sophomore Sarah Liuba worked full-time at a restaurant. “I was at the front, constantly standing,” she said. “It’s prepared me for my nursing degree… I actually had to stand for 12 hours.” This experience steers her well in her transition from full-time employee to full-time student. “I feel less exhausted. I feel like work prepares me to be motivated for school.”
Students living on campus have had to make their own adjustments. For sophomore Casandra Landrian, being a resident student has meant spending much less time with friends and family back home.
“Having the little luxuries of eating out with them, getting takeout,” she said. “It was fun. I do kind of miss that part. Sometimes I do miss home, but I know that I'm doing this for myself and personal growth.”
Some students have found that college gives their lives much-needed structure and purpose.
"During summer, there's no set schedule,” Hassan said. “Or if there is, you don't really do much. I’m just more content with what I'm doing with my days. I'm actually doing something. Even though it's exhausting, you're satisfied by the end of the day.”
One thing many sophomores can look forward to is that with greater experience comes greater clarity about future plans. Landrian, for example, had a difficult time deciding on a major during her freshman year. By the time spring arrived, she felt conflicted.
"It's like if you're watching a movie, do I really like this specific genre?” Landrian said. “Do I want to continue going or do I want to switch to a different genre? Do I want to continue watching this movie?"
This school year, however, things have started to look up. For starters, she feels more motivated than ever by her coursework. "I'm satisfied with my major right now. I'm committed to seeing this one through.”
Academics remain at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and college has us busier than ever. Sophomore year brings with it greater academic demands.
“I'm going to be taking organic chemistry,” Lin said. “I feel like that's probably going to be the hardest class that I'll ever take.”
Reflecting on her freshman year, Hassan said her biggest goal this year is to be social.
“When you're going through it — fall and spring semesters — you're like, okay, I'm doing it,” she said. “At the end of it, you're exhausted mentally. That's when you realize, hey, I didn't really hang out with friends much. I didn't really enjoy the college experience.”
Luckily, college can be a great place to socialize. “It's easier to make friends here because there are a lot of new people to meet and I made a lot of friends last year,” said Lin.
It seems, though, that despite the challenges that college life brings, Adelphi has made its way into the hearts of the sophomore class.
“I already made myself comfortable here,” Luiba said. “Why would I go to another place?”