Building Community During a Pandemic

Categories: Life at Columbia, Student Stories

By Brittany Reimer, Second-Year Student

If you’ve spent any time chatting with a CBC student, you’ve probably heard them mention how much they love the community. You may also be wondering how the school is fostering community this year during an ongoing pandemic. Maybe you’re wondering if it’s worth it to live in dorms or attend in-person classes with all the Covid restrictions to which we still adhere.

It’s true that classes look different. Our desks are six feet apart; we wear masks and wipe our desks down every time we enter a classroom. Our lectures are available to be live-streamed from our rooms in case we have any symptoms. We can’t get to know quite as many people as we did last year, and we can’t squish as many people around a table as we used to. We have limitations.

I’ve come to know the people in my safe bubble quite well, and they feel like my family.

However, I’m a second-year resident student who has attended classes in person this year, and I’d like to share why it’s been so worth it for many of my fellow students and me.

  1. In CBC residences, we still have more community than a lot of the world has had during Covid. We have the opportunity to get closer to our roommates and those living in our units. Though I feel like I don’t know as many people in my residence building this year, I’ve come to know the people in my safe bubble quite well, and they feel like my family. We’ve had plenty of great conversations and a lot of good laughs!
  2. In-person classes are a breath of fresh air after spending so much time on a computer and in Zoom meetings the last year. Our eyes get a rest from staring at a screen. We get to safely interact with the students around us in the classrooms and talk about what we’re learning. Also, we have the advantage of talking to our professors in person if we have questions, and they’re still lovingly mentoring us.
  3. We still get to participate in some extra-curricular educational events. The school has worked very hard to create fun initiatives throughout the year. A few things we have done include an outdoor Harvest Party, a week of Christmas activities such as a Christmas tree decorating contest, free snacks and treats, candy grams on Valentine’s Day, fundraisers for causes students care about and more!

Personally, I am so thankful to be able to live on campus, attend in-person classes and make amazing memories with the CBC community. It’s been a great encouragement to me. Many of my friends have expressed their appreciation to be on campus as well, even though we’ve had to learn to adapt to what that looks like this year. We’ve learned to be creative, deeply appreciate those in our bubbles, and remain thankful during the challenges that Covid has brought us all. God is still at work in the CBC community!