You grab your boxed dinner from North Dining Hall and tote it back to the dorm. You forgot to bring a bag again so your bare fingers are stiff and numb around the container by the time you enter your room. You shut the door behind you and go to your desk where you’ll sit facing a wall, eating another meal alone. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You could jump onto a Zoom call instead to share stimulating conversation and make new friends — all from the comfort of your own room.
Dreams for a bigger kitchen and redecorated interior dining space still exist but have been put on the back burner. People comment on the work the restaurant needs, and Dont’e Shaw simply takes it in stride. He’s aware of the necessary renovations, he even had them planned out, but when you open your restaurant in the middle of a global pandemic, most plans have to be changed. Pandemic living has made so many things impossible and other things so anxiety-ridden that other alternatives have to be sought out instead.
When campus isn’t filled with students over winter and summer break sessions, the library echoes with a unique quiet and has an eerily empty feel, like an airport at 2:00 a.m. or the grocery store late at night. Chairs sit uninhabited and a sense of restfulness hums in the air. It’s no surprise Hesburgh Library didn’t look or feel quite that empty Tuesday, March 2. Amidst the advice to slow down and take a moment for yourself, Notre Dame students still populated this well-loved study spot. At 8:50 p.m. in the evening, the library seemed just as full as it always is on the university’s scheduled “mini-break” day.