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Top 10 things I imagine students have missed about the University

With some COVID-19 restrictions lifted, many students who stayed home last year are awaiting the return to Grounds

<p>Madison Workman is a Top 10 writer for The Cavalier Daily.</p>

Madison Workman is a Top 10 writer for The Cavalier Daily.

1. Walking to class

One thing I’m sure students have missed most about being on Grounds is the familiarity of walking to class. Especially throughout the pandemic, many students found themselves constrained to their living areas, not able to enjoy the activity of walking to class — a breath of fresh air that provides a much-needed break from the classroom. As classes shift back to in-person this semester, I’m sure students are eager to begin getting out to get to class again. 

2. Seeing faces around Grounds

One of the best things about being on Grounds is seeing faces everywhere you go — whether it be on the Corner, in dining halls, libraries or classrooms. Being able to converse freely without scheduled virtual meetings with peers, professors, friends, as well as the Charlottesville community, is something I expect returning students have missed about being in person. As the time is approaching for the University community to convene for the fall semester, I’m sure students are getting excited to see their community out and about as they walk around Grounds.

3. Rising Roll and West Range

I know that our fellow Rising Roll and West Range lovers must certainly be awaiting the reopening of these impeccable eateries within the coming weeks. For new students, Rising Roll and West Range are located in New Cabell Hall and on the south end of the West Range, respectively. Whether it’s the buffalo chicken wrap from West Range or the grande burrito from Rising Roll, students must be yearning to walk through the shining gates of these cafes on Grounds. Not only can students grab some ready-to-go snacks and quick food, these locations offer a great place to meet up with fellow classmates and friends in between classes.

4. Libraries

While venturing to the library may not seem like the most exciting way to spend one’s time, I’m convinced students missed the sense of community that libraries radiate. There’s something about being in a library surrounded by working students that brings forth your best diligence. I myself have missed this culture of libraries and am looking forward to visiting once we return to Grounds. As libraries such as Clemons and Fine Arts stay open for the upcoming semester, there will be many options to explore — even with Alderman under renovation.

5. Walking down the Corner

There is just something about walking the Corner and seeing other students, community members and faculty that brings a smile to my face. It’s even better on a beautiful, sunny and 75-degree kind of day. The Corner offers a lovely amount of great food — from the classic Bodo’s Bagels to a refreshing smoothie at the Juice Laundry — as well as places to sit outside and chat with a friend or do school work. With students coming back on Grounds, it’ll be exciting to see the Corner hustling and bustling once again this semester.

6. The Lawn

The Lawn is easily one of the most architecturally beautiful places on Grounds. Like myself, I’m assured students must be expressing their excitement regarding their return to this aesthetically pleasing, happy location. I don’t know if I can name a better spot to grab a book, veg with friends, play a game or enjoy a meal. 

7. Bodo's Bagels

Now, you can agree to disagree, but Bodo's Bagels is practically a staple on the Corner — I might even go as far to say that it is a staple of the University. Who doesn’t love a Bodo's bagel? If you haven’t had a go-to bagel place this summer — like myself — I can assure you that one thing you are missing is a perfectly baked, loaded Bodo's bagel. I can guarantee that the Bodo’s line will be wrapping around the corner by Starbucks on the first Friday of the semester.

8. Mad Bowl

A hotspot for recreational sports or simply hanging out with friends, Mad Bowl undoubtedly is getting students eager about their return to Grounds. Even though Mad Bowl was utilized a lot this past year as a location for students to socially distance themselves and meet up with others, I’m sure students are excited to regather on Mad Bowl and revel in the buzz of a full-fledged start to the new semester. 

9. Christian’s Pizza 

You can say that again! Christian’s Pizza — the beloved pizza restaurant on the Corner undoubtedly has students already drooling at the thought of taking a delectable bite of their perfectly crusty, cheesy pizza. Whether it’s to grab a slice in between classes or a late night bite, Christian’s Pizza is a faithful friend to all and students, including myself, have to be eagerly awaiting to renew this friendship. 

10. In-person classes 

After more than a year of virtual school, one thing students must be most enthusiastic about is in-person classes. In-person classes ignite a stronger sense of community, belonging and willingness to participate — the feelings of isolation that some students may have experienced with online classes will hopefully remain a figment of the past. While virtual classes allowed the opportunity for our community to connect and brought with it some benefits, the experience of being able to communicate face-to-face with professors and peers is simply unmatched.