This term, to my surprise, has been one of my favorites at Groton. Coming into the term, I was pretty concerned about COVID-19 and its effect on life at Groton. I thought that the term would be completely different from any we had before, and I was wondering whether it might’ve been better to go remote to avoid whatever restrictions were placed on us.
After a week at Groton, however, I knew that I was completely mistaken in my previous assumptions. I quickly became aware that Groton was largely the same as it had been before (except for sports, which I’ll explain shortly) and that I was going to have just as much fun as I had had prior.
Classes continued as usual, except for the fact that there were students on Zoom attending the class along with the in-person students. Sports were a bit different: athletes were not able to compete against other schools nor were they allowed to scrimmage indoors at Groton if there was to be contact involved. Also, as I explained in my last blog post, sports were split between fall sports and winter and spring sports, as students could not get off campus to participate in their off-season sports. For me, that meant conditioning three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and then tennis or basketball, my winter and spring sports respectively, two days a week (Tuesday, Thursday). This split of seasonal sports worked out extremely well for me. In our two days of tennis per week, we were able to practice with the same intensity as usual. The same was pretty much true for basketball in the second half of the term, except for the fact that we couldn’t scrimmage.
After a couple of weeks at school, the Student Activities Committee (SAC) also began organizing events on the Circle for Saturday nights and these continued for the rest of the term, moving inside to the hockey rink when it became too cold. After a hard week, I really appreciated that we were able to get out on Saturday night and hang out with friends. On the last weekend of school, most of the varsity teams held scrimmages against each other, and many students who did not participate in varsity sports came to watch. The experience was great for everybody but I think especially for the seniors, who were not able to compete otherwise in their last season of their fall sport. Overall, I found the term to be a great one and am looking forward to the winter, which we are told is going to be virtual at first and then in-person after everyone who chooses to come to campus has a negative COVID test.
I’d also add that Groton did an incredible job in handling COVID on campus. Through daily health checks and weekly COVID testing, constant mask-wearing, and general social distancing, the school was able to report zero positive cases on campus throughout the whole term.