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[Photo Story] A Look Around Campus On A Cold, Quiet First Day Of Class

Although Tuesday was the first day of classes for Penn State students, University Park resembled more of a ghost town than anything else.

A day that’s usually marked by lost freshmen, packed Blue Loops, and busy sidewalks was replaced with a few straggling joggers and “closed during the remote period” signs. The pandemic has uprooted yet another semester, as only student-athletes, international students, and those with extenuating circumstances remain on campus until February 12.

In the morning, when folks would typically be walking to their 8 a.m.s, it snowed. But instead of campus looking like a winter wonderland, it resembled a frozen, deserted tundra.

As the day went on, the sun came out. But even in the surprisingly comfortable-for-January weather, campus was disturbingly quiet.

Even the HUB, one of the few buildings on campus with its doors unlocked, was shockingly empty. The High School Musical steps were deserted, Starbucks was shuttered up, and the tent on the lawn was mostly disassembled.

Downtown was a bit more lively, but it was still a far, far cry from what the first day of class used to look like. No one was scrambling to the Student Book Store to grab a textbook, and the usual go-to breakfast and lunch spots were deserted.

A few businesses downtown made it very clear they were still open, while others closed down — some temporarily, and some for good.

Only Pollock Commons will remain open for food options throughout most of the remote period, so areas like Redifer and East were upended and locked up.

Until at least mid-February, campus will look like this every day. Basically everything has changed, even from the fall semester, which was already weird to begin with.

But some things never change, and that’s freshmen being freshmen.

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About the Author

Ryan Parsons

Ryan is a junior business major from Bucks County and is Onward State's social media manager. He writes about a lot of things. He's a huge Philly sports fan, back to back to back failed entrepreneur, and he appeared on the Rachel Ray Show at the age of 5. If you want to gain absolutely nothing, you can follow him on twitter @rjparsons9. Any "serious" inquiries or death threats can be sent to [email protected]

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