173 days.

It has been 173 days since our campus was swiftly emptied, students, staff, and faculty departing for an extended spring break, unsure of what was to come within the next two weeks. Duffel bags packed, quick goodbyes to friends and roommates, offices cleared, and no clear end in sight. 173 days is a long time.

Since that day in March our campus community, and our global community, has seen highs and lows as many of us floated through the days, unsure of how to prepare for whatever would come next. We bonded over Tiger King and Love is Blind. We grew anxious as it looked like we wouldn’t return to campus before the end of the spring semester. We danced along with TikTok (or at least tried to). We stood with our Black friends and community members to protest injustice. Birthday parades, virtual graduations, “maskne,” social distancing; the unknowns kept coming, with, with no end in sight. And they continue to present themselves, as we embark on a fall semester that will be unlike anything any of us has ever experienced.

It has taken us 173 days to prepare for your return to Worcester State University. While your campus (or virtual campus) experience may look different this fall, we still plan to provide you with opportunities to get involved, meet other students, and feel like a member of the WSU community. The staff of the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development are committed to providing quality events and programs that are both engaging and safe, and we hope that these events can help provide at least a small sense of normalcy as you return to your classes this September.

As always, we encourage you to check your email each Monday for the OSILD Weekly newsletter, which will highlight upcoming events and programs. Many events are moving online this semester, so even if you are not planning on coming to campus there will still be an opportunity for you to participate. We will also continue to update our Instagram daily with information from our office and others around campus, so feel free to follow @WSU_OSILD so you stay informed.

Please know that we are here to provide support during this new time. This is a stressful time for all of us, and we want to be able to support you however you need. The OSILD will be open every day from 8:30am-5pm, and can be reached via email at studentinvolvement@worcester.edu, or by phone at 508.929.8073.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and remember that we are here for you. Welcome back.

Written by Sarah Potrikus

Sarah Potrikus is the Assistant Director in the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership Development at Worcester State University. She is a trained Strengths Coach and certified True Colors facilitator. When not helping to develop and facilitate student leadership programs and workshops, Sarah advises student organizations and assists with the WSU Orientation programs. She resides in Worcester, MA.

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