Return to Normalcy

Andrew Shen ’23

 The trepidation of returning to a life without masks is a common occurrence for most individuals. Following a year of social behavioral guidelines, re-entering a community with far fewer regulations comes with mixed feelings. However, despite the switch up in routines, the advent of Covid-19 vaccines allowed our Berkshire community to experience a normal community once again. 

 As summer came to an end, Berkshire students began returning to campus group by group. The very first moment a student stepped on campus was already drastically different compared to last year. It was uncanny seeing a group of senior leaders holding up a banner reading “Honk if you love Berkshire!,” each beaming with a smile. Following the drive up, students would see dorm parents and teachers walking around, laughing and waving. The lack of recognition to those now-exposed faces was replaced by a sense of familiarity. It is as if teachers who’ve known students for years are looking at someone entirely new. 

 The atmosphere of Berkshire School also felt different. Without the obstruction of masks, bright sounds of laughter could be heard echoing down the hallways of dorms as students moved in and joyous smiles could be seen as friends reunite; a litany of positive emotions now easily shown. 

 Three-year junior Gus De Vink, someone who experienced pre-Covid, Covid, and now post-Covid Berkshire, said that post-Covid has been a game-changer. “Without the need of these guidelines [masks], sports and activities are so much more fun. Talking and hanging out with friends is so much easier, and especially, the food has gotten much better.” 

 We all remember Flik dining last year. While we acknowledge that Flik provided us with the best food they could produce under strict hygiene guidelines, it wasn’t exactly breathtakingly good. Comparatively, Flik dining has seen massive improvements. Gus mentioned how the return of the drink dispensers, panini bar, and salad bar have all been extraordinary, a gesture many Berkshire students appreciate. 

 As Berkshire students ease back into their normal routines, the Covid-filled year at Berkshire will be nothing but a distant memory, replaced by new and better ones.