Photo By: Matt Ragland from Unsplash

With a strange school year now behind us and an equally strange one just beginning, we thought it would be worthwhile to share with all of you our thoughts on the year ahead.

Noah Nickel – Editor-in-Chief

The roller coaster that has been the last 18 months has really left me with an upset stomach to say the least. I’ve been through so many optimistic highs and hopeless lows that I honestly am not sure what to feel going into this new school year. I’m quite happy that some things are coming back to campus, but in all seriousness, how long is that likely to last? With cases still going up it’s hard to be hopeful, especially with winter coming up quickly. My plan is to take advantage of it while it lasts (while being safe of course). I plan to do as much as I can and soak up being on campus, because who knows when (or if) I’ll be able to do it again.

Abdul Anjum – Business Manager

​I am very excited to return to in-person activities. Over the past year or so I’ve really learned the value of human contact, so I’m most eager to be able to socialize and hang out with my friends. 

There are so many things I miss from pre-pandemic university life. I miss the Tim Horton’s line, the packed library elevators, the basketball runs at Ian Beddis Gym. I plan on taking advantage of all opportunities to be away from my desk. Although I’m not quite sure what to expect of the campus experience, I will probably stick to social distancing and the same safety measures for the next little while – it only seems reasonable at this point.

Holly Morrison – Managing Editor

I am cautiously looking forward to this upcoming school year. If the months since March of 2020 have taught me one thing, it’s that cautious optimism is the way to go. I’d love to get back to class and work in person and it’ll be awesome if that happens, but I’m not counting on it, and if it doesn’t, well then I’ll figure it out. 

I think I’ve done okay at getting used to the ups and downs of this past year so I’m optimistic that whatever happens, I’ll be able to adjust to it at the very least.

Chad Ellis – News Editor

It’s amazing that we’re finally at the cusp of an in-person semester again and honestly, I’m less anxious about it than I thought I would be. During the summer I would constantly think about how weird it would feel to transition back from virtual learning (which was fine for me honestly), but luckily that’s not the case. As the date has drawn closer, I find that I’ve just been very excited. I’m excited to finally get back on campus and do things in a somewhat normal way and I’m excited to see some of the people I haven’t been able to for over a year. My friends and some of the longer-standing staff know I’m a very adventurous person and I think my brain is treating this semester like an adventure. Whichever way it goes I think it will be a good year and I’m confident that we will all find a way to navigate it together safely.

Morgan Vidakovic – Sports & Wellness Editor

School is my favorite place to be, and not being there the past year and a half has been super challenging. I learned more about myself during the COVID-19 lockdown than I have in all of my 22 years. I have just been absolutely giving it my all for the past four years; school, work, rugby, and COVID-19 was the first real break I’ve had in a long time. This year things are going to be different and I’m super excited because for so long I’ve feared the thought of change in my routine, but COVID-19 gave me an opportunity to change, work on myself more and rediscover my passions. Being the Sports and Wellness Editor for The Brock Press is something I never knew I would accomplish and for that, I’m grateful for the lockdown because it gave me time to try new things and take on new opportunities. This year will certainly be different, but different is exciting and I can’t wait to work with such an amazing team at The Brock Press while I finish my last year of school.

Jonah Dayton – Editor-at-Large

This is my fourth and final year as both a sport management student and an employee of The Brock Press, so I’d like to squeeze out as many weeks of in-person activity as possible. 

As far as school goes, I feel pretty suited to online learning, despite my obvious preference for in-person classes, so it’s not like my marks will suddenly fall off a cliff when if we revert back to exclusively virtual learning again. Just crank that lecture up to 1.5x speed and we’re off. 

Work-wise, there’s a lot of things I’m excited about heading into this year. I think my fellow grizzled The Brock Press veterans Chad and Holly would agree that in each of our first three years working here the staff has improved. This year should follow that pattern! We’re finally doing a podcast this year, plus our revamped website will allow for more creative uses of embedded media within our articles.

Haytham Nawaz – General Assistant Editor

The idea that school is starting again is hard to grasp. Given the turbulence of last year with the university experience being compressed and packaged solely online, it’s as if the seasonal grooves that signal a beginning and end point have been disjointed, even mangled beyond recognition in certain respects. 

This nearly clichéd notion of ‘getting back to normal’ has seemingly run its course. If there’s any lesson after the vaccine rollout this summer it’s that we’ve entered a new era. “Normal” remains undetermined, or rather it feels as if indeterminateness is the new normal. 

Regardless, a new school year is coming and I’ve spent the summer preparing by forcefully resting. Honestly, the partisan agendas surrounding COVID-19 are exhausting to me, though it remains an important battlefield for defining ethics on a societal scale. Getting vaccinated, wearing masks while unmasking false information, following the recommendations of experts; these remain important goals for us as students to hold fast to. 

Even though much of what made up normal social life prior to COVID-19 seems distant, I’m still optimistic for the small progressions this coming year, getting to be on-campus and hopefully staying there being the main one. The past school year has suggested rather forcefully that we have to start embracing this new normal and defining what the university experience should be in less traditional forms. COVID-19 is allowing students to think up a new ideal, and hopefully one consisting of solidarity in the face of the indeterminate. 

With that, here’s to the new normal.

Dhvani Shah – Assistant News Editor

Entering my last year at Brock, I’m feeling a lot of things. Excitement for our return to campus, stress given the uncertainty surrounding how the rest of the year will pan out, and a little bit of sadness that my journey at Brock is so quickly coming to an end. As a co-op student, I haven’t spent all that much time on campus. In fact, this will be my first time returning since spring 2019. So much has changed since then, but that’s part of why I’m so excited to come back.

One of the things I’m most looking forward to this year is my work here with The Brock Press. This is my first year on the paper, and I’m excited to work with such a dynamic team! I’ve never written professionally before, so I’m sure this experience will help me broaden my horizons and learn a thing or two. 

I think it’ll be interesting to see what this school year brings. A lot of new rules, I’m sure. But also the chance to make up for lost time, and create memories to take with me even after convocation. Wishing you all the best of luck for the year ahead, stay safe Badgers!

Liam Nielsen – Assistant Sports & Wellness Editor

Coming into my last year as a Badger, I’m filled with a lot of excitement, but also a lot of uncertainty over what this year will bring. Like many others, I’m worried that I’ll have forgotten how in-person learning is supposed to work after learning remotely for so long.

What sets my mind at ease is all the amazing support that Brock has to offer, and also the excitement surrounding what I love most about Brock. I truly have missed walking through the halls and having passing interactions with so many people that I’ve met through various classes, clubs and my jobs at the university. 

The sense of community on Brock’s campus is what I love the most, it’s the reason I came to Brock in the first place. I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things, and to end off my time here on a high note.

Alejandro Vasquez Coronado – Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor

Starting my third year at Brock is full of mixed emotions. After a long year of online classes, it feels like I’m a freshman again. Navigating campus as if it is my first time, trying to remember the names of the buildings. It feels like a fresh start, a new beginning. 2021 has flown by, I’m now marking dates to remember for October and November when it feels like it is still 2020. Last year was tough for a lot of us, and what I missed the most was in-person interactions.

For me, the biggest novelty this fall is moving into a new house. It’ll give me a chance to know the area and involve myself in the community more than I have in the past. It is also my first year working with The Brock Press which I’m very excited about.

This summer was the best opportunity to recharge my batteries and get ready for another year of school. Needless to say, I’m very excited to be back in St. Catharines. As nervous as I am for some classes, I’m looking forward to this year; call me a nerd but I really enjoy school.

Annilea Purser – Copy Editor

My mindset heading into this year is seemingly similar to that of most students with uncertainty and hesitation ruling my thoughts. At this point, no one really knows where the pandemic will lead us; we could be allowed on-campus for the entire academic year or we could end up back online by next week. 

While this lack of control often becomes overwhelming, I have started to focus on the small student-related decisions that are within my grasp. This has resulted in me having a better feeling of control over my life, and in turn, a growing amount of optimism. Some of these things include: Whether it will be two or three iced caramel macchiatos that I will be buying every day from the new Starbucks on campus, if I will risk being distracted by watching the new season of Netflix’s You while completing assignments, and if I decide to enter the Campus Store right after getting my paycheque.

All jokes aside, there are some legitimately beneficial decisions that I hope to make. Things like whether I’ll be booking library study rooms and time slots at The Zone, if I’ll be attending campus events to make up for a year with little social interaction, and if I’ll take an earlier bus to talk with my TAs before class.

While the past year has obviously been quite uncertain for us all, being able to make the typical (and mostly insignificant) student decisions once again has me feeling unavoidably optimistic and I imagine this applies to many Badgers.