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A note from me to you

| Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Hello, dear readers. Welcome to another thrilling academic year!

Whether you’re a first year or not, this year in our tri-campus community will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced. Or at least that’s what it seems like — as of writing this, I haven’t been on campus yet. Changes abound, but this is nothing to be scared of.

Our three campuses pride themselves on the traditions they uphold. These traditions might be one of the reasons you chose to come to the Bend, and these traditions will stay or return sometime in the future. But they may not be possible this year.

That’s OK.

Everyone who steps foot on the grounds of these institutions does so for a reason. There’s something special that connects the students of the tri-campus. Their ingenuity, their creativity, their passion, their drive. The list quite literally goes on. It is because of these traits that we will be able to innovate and tackle this school year with everything we have.

Of course, this isn’t to say there aren’t risks to reviving campus life. It is important we remember that every person on these campuses is functioning at a different comfort level given the state of the world. Some are ready to get back to the grind, attend every lecture they can and do their thing — masks on, of course. Others are shaken, tired and weary of what the future holds.

I find myself at the in-between. I’m eager to leave my house, see my friends and learn something new from my favorite professors. I’m nervous to return to a dorm, encounter people who aren’t the most diligent about safety guidelines and expose vulnerable people to whatever I’ve been exposed to.

That’s OK, too.

The most important thing — and something I hope every student is willing to offer to one another — is understanding. Understand that we are all doing the best we can. Understand that not everyone will be willing to do what you do. Understand that sometimes all someone will be able to do is sit in their room and watch anime for hours on end.

(Yes, that last one is about me. I’ll own that. Hope you understand.)

This year won’t be what we expected or hoped for. For some, it’s your first. For others, it’s your last. It is with high hopes that I say life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock.

Let’s mourn the cesspool that is Domerfest and hope first years and transfers can experience that one day.

Let’s remember that everyone is going through it. We are a community; we need to act like one.

Take care of yourself and your neighbor. Wear a mask. Follow your campus’ health and safety guidelines.

Whether we like it or not, the world really is looking at our institutions to see what will come next. We each have the ability to make sure the outcome is as safe as can be. We can make new traditions while we wait to welcome back old ones.

So whether you’re a new student or returning, welcome to Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross. The tri-campus community is so happy to have you.

You can contact Maria at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Maria Leontaras

Maria Leontaras is a senior at Saint Mary's pursuing a student-designed major in Interactive Journalism with minors in mathematics and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. Maria serves as the Editor-in-Chief of The Observer when she isn't busy tweeting about movies and One Direction.

Contact Maria