For weeks, the University Park campus was like a ghost town. If you had to drive up Shortlidge Road or across Pollock, you could do it without encountering a single student. Walk from one building to another and you might expect to see a tumbleweed, despite the temperature.
But that all changed Monday. They’re back.
Spring semester 2015 kicked off quietly but with a decided impact as campus and adjacent downtown State College filled to the brim with returning students almost overnight.
Bicycles zipped across Curtin Road. Students braved the cold, drippy weather to get a start on their first day of classes. In Au Bon Pain at the Kern Graduate Building, people seemed to be keeping their New Year’s resolutions, stocking up on fruit instead of pastries as the shop buzzed with customers while people stacked up outside the auditorium, waiting for the last class to exit so they could get seats for their own lectures.
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Lauren Lambert is a junior in her second semester at the University Park campus, double majoring in public relations and recreation, parks and tourism management. She was downright bouncy as she walked past Old Main with a smile on her face and Tim McGraw blaring in her ears.
“I’m taking seven classes this semester, all of them focused on getting my internship,” she said.
But she’s not just looking forward to working hard this year.
“It’s the routine, getting back into things,” she said. “And so much going on. Thon is coming up. There are so many activities!”
Sophomore Joe Dougherty was waiting to go into his Econ 102 class, which might explain why the public relations major was not quite as enthusiastic about the idea of getting back to the grindstone, but wasn’t too broken up about it either.
“A little bit of both, I guess,” he said.