The unrelenting pandemic had taken the highly-anticipated campus life away from new university students.
But now, with social distancing measures lifted, college festivals have returned.
Major universities in South Korea are already busy planning their festival schedules, and among them is Seoul National University which came up with the “Homecoming” festival.
“The once-quiet campus field is now filled with students enjoying the festival that is back in full and in-person for the first time in three years. A variety of booths, food trucks and activities add to the festive atmosphere.”
One of the organizers says the festival wanted to welcome those who’ve felt the effects of the pandemic the most the classes of 2020 and 2021 as if they’re coming back home.
“I believe a good festival helps students connect, makes them talk about the festival they enjoyed even years later. The main purpose is to let them bond and make new memories together.”
The festival seemed to do what it set out to, letting students really feel like they’re on a university campus, making new friends.
“I got in last year but could hardly come to campus because of COVID-19. It’s hard to imagine that we’re actually having a festival here. Now I feel like a real college student.”
“I think it is our first time, and I think it is super fun and the weather is super nice today and it is very nice to be outside not to have our masks anymore and to just enjoy the vibes.”
“People who were in the year above me at high school told me that going to college wouldn’t be anything special so I was worried about being disappointed. But now we’re having festivals and can meet many new friends, I feel so happy.”
University festivals being back and at full capacity has been welcomed by the vendors, too.
“We went through such a tough period due to the virus. So having festivals like this gives us a lot of hope.”
Other major universities are also working out their festival plans, to give students a place they can meet new people in person instead of on Zoom.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang news.