I’m writing this to you from my on-campus apartment with my three roommates after attending a meeting in the Gettysburgian office to work on this magazine, an in-person class with nearly every seat filled, and an in-person rush event for Alpha Phi Omega. While I was on campus last semester, my daily schedule looked a lot different. Twice a week, I went to my one in-person class while half of the students stared back at us on a computer screen. A few times a week, I sat with one of my now-roommates six feet apart in my dorm room masked. I stepped foot in the Gettysburgian office twice, both times to distribute magazines, never for an in-person meeting with my news staff nor the editorial board.
We may not be back to normal, and we may still be working through what normal means to each of us, but we’re back together.
Through these semesters of uncertainty, we as Gettysburgians have persevered and we as The Gettysburgian have chronicled it and written a multitude of opinions on it all while dealing with the uncertainty of the situation ourselves in different time zones and different places, unable to be together except through a screen. There was a special sense of happiness that came from meeting in the office as a staff again together. The Gettysburgian served as a crucial connection between me and Gettysburg when I was sitting 2,500 miles away in San Diego, California, missing my friends, that sense of Gettysburg community, and the feeling of in-person classes and in-person events. In short: writing breaking news about the pandemic became my catharsis, one of the few things still giving me that exciting feeling that being in a classroom once had.
Now that our in-person semester is in full swing, it didn’t take much discussion for us to settle on our first magazine theme being healing and recovery. I think I speak for most, if not all of us, when I say this last year and a half took a toll on our sense of community. However, I’m proud of how we’ve found our ways back to each other, how we have bounced back and are exploring our “new normal” together.
It is my hope that this magazine doesn’t highlight the ways the past three semesters distanced us, but instead the way this semester has brought us together. As we recover from three pandemic semesters, I invite you to explore what it means for us to be together again, rebuilding as an institution and a community of learners.
Katie Oglesby ’23
This article originally appeared on page 2 of the September 24, 2021 edition of The Gettysburgian’s magazine.