Features

First-Year Activities During COVID

Azu Esparza Hernandez, opinions editor

Throughout this challenging virtual year, it has been difficult for students to stay involved. This has been especially hard for first-year students, whose introduction to Augsburg has been anything but traditional. Still, though lacking connections, events, and in-person spaces, Auggies have done their best to make the year memorable. The Echo interviewed two first-year students to showcase how they made the best out of pandemic.

Lauren Stadler is a first-year majoring in English and theatre. She is involved in the theatre department here at Augsburg, and played the narrator in “Two Men and a Woman In a House”. 

“It was definitely different than any other theatre experience I’ve done.” Stadler says. There were major changes made to keep the actors and technicians safe, such as having to wear a mask during in-person rehearsals and performing with no audience. Stadler says these concessions were worth it. “I’m honestly just glad I’ve been able to do theatre in general because I love it so much! The arts have been struggling so much due to COVID and the fact that Augsburg has found ways to make the fine arts happen is amazing.” 

Stadler is currently working on another theater production, “The Well of Horniness”. It will be released this month on the Augsburg Theater Department YouTube channel. 

The Augsburg Day Student Government (ADSG) has also found ways to keep working hard. First-year Emma Allen, majoring in social work, is a first-year class senator in ADSG. Allen says, “at the beginning of the year it was very difficult to get involved because I feel like so many first-years were having trouble navigating how exactly to get involved in different groups and events.” 

Even after joining ADSG, COVID has made her experience difficult. “We have only been able to have one meeting in-person the entire semester.” Allen says. “I’m really looking forward to next year when we’re hopefully going to be able to have our meetings in-person and engage with students even more.”

Joining a new student organization can be a daunting experience, especially as a first-year. The pandemic only further complicates the experience. Allen describes the difficulty, stating that “there weren’t exactly instructions about where to go to get involved, and putting yourself out there can be really scary. I was lucky enough to be invited into student government at the beginning of second semester, and that helped me make a ton of new connections and friendships.” 

Hopes are high for next year, especially with the announcement of a return to in-person classes and activities. Regardless, these Auggies have shown that their resilience can triumph over even the worst case scenarios.