Ah, spring semester. Nothing quite like the feeling of a cold, dark, Sunday night in snowy Rochester, contagion lurking behind every corner, the tally of consecutive sunless days growing like UR’s endowment. Snuggle up under five or six blankets in your under-insulated dorm room and get some rest. You’ll need your beauty sleep for the next few months of good ol’ pre-recorded academic rigor, and — you guessed it — full price tuition, baybeee.

Bitterness aside, we’re interested, and maybe our readers are as well, in the following question: What is there to do around here, anyways? What does a yellowjacket have to look forward to after a long day of protecting the hive; that is, shutting themselves in their room at all costs, venturing out only to speed walk to and from the dining hall three times a day with their head down? Sure, it has to be done for “the greater good,” or “public health and safety” or whatever, but it’s kind of boring. What are UR students happy to be back for?

To find out, a crew of intrepid CT reporters battled River Campus’ frigid terrain over the course of the weekend, searching for any signs of life, any student, shrew, or Quad Fox, to interview. After some hours, we were able to speak with a first-year whose name was either Alvin, Calvin, or Melvin, we couldn’t tell, his speech obscured by a thick cloth mask and a blistering westerly wind.

“What excites you most about being on campus this semester?”

“Excites me? Uh…” eyes darting back and forth, as if seeking an escape, Alvin, Calvin or Melvin furrowed his brow. “Uh… my um… my parents don’t really let me have sugar. Here I can eat sugar, so that’s pretty cool I guess. I was just going to Hillside for some Chips Ahoy.” He twitched and shifted his stance: “Do you guys know if it’s possible to check the specifics of declining charges? I might get a call.”

After that, a particularly ferocious gust of wind plucked the mic from our interviewers hand, like how one might snatch their little cousin’s candy cane on Christmas, ripping it effortlessly from their frail clutches. We intended to interview another few students, hopefully other prospective types like the Chips Ahoy boy, but alas, nature had other plans.

Determined to persevere, we hit the email registry, settling for some virtual polling. The results were overwhelming: 87% of on-campus respondents cite access to school WiFi, and with it, freedom from Duo authentication, as the most exciting part of on-campus life. And how.

Some other things that students are excited about include:

  • Pandemic protocol trumpeting brought to you by the Instagram Stories of Poli Sci majors
  • Spamming the 10-second rewind button
  • Agoraphobia
  • Decimating your own circadian rhythm
  • A tepid reclamation of your independence
  • Ice skating in disappointingly small circles
  • Your mask absorbing your nasal drippings, a process you are utterly powerless to stop as your frantic bouts of sniffling prove futile

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