Every coming-of-age movie I’ve watched in the past year copied and pasted the exact same opening scene: move-in day. Teary-eyed parents fade into the distance, waving goodbye to their little girl, as a Taylor Swift ballad cues the credits. The protagonist (with her unrealistically small number of suitcases) is greeted by the unbearable roommate, before later befriending the heartthrob boy-next-door. These movies, while entertaining, leave out the true meaning of move-in day. It is not just the start of a new year or the start of new friendships. In Newark, it is the start of house hunting season.
With the end of winter break and, for many, Winter Session classes, comes the spring semester. The spring semester marks a nice return to campus to see friends again, and even as a break from the break! I’m glad to have had the long break; however, since my winter study abroad was canceled, I had that itch to return to the groove of campus and the classes I enjoy. What’s even more poignant about this spring is the return of the student body altogether. Many of us haven’t experienced a full, in-person spring semester either at all or since spring 2019. My first spring semester was cut short by COVID’s beginnings, and in my second spring, I happened to have a single on-campus class, allowing me to be here last year. Because being on-campus all spring long is new for so many students, here are some ways to really take advantage of the spring semester no matter your year. Continue reading