Coming Back Together: Student perspectives

Nov 11, 2021

Author: Nyah Graham, VCU history student

Hear from students Dylan Seay of the Alexandrian Society and Emmet Angle-Davis of History Now about the importance of in-person get-togethers, and what they have learned by navigating through the difficulty of the pandemic.

Dylan Seay frame one / Emmet Angle-Davis fram two

With the emergence of vaccines last spring, this semester has been very different from any we’ve had within the past year. We can now plan in-person meetings and campus life has blossomed once more. For student organizations within the history department, that means our connections between both students and faculty have changed as well.

Dylan Seay, a second-year student, is a member of the Alexandrian Society who joined last year. He describes last semester as “an odd combination of online and in person classes” that made him feel a little isolated. “Specifically pertaining to the Alexandrian Society, we met only virtually the entirety of the semester,” he said.

First year student, Emmet Angle-Davis, a new member of History Now, also felt isolated stating, “Aside from the obvious (facing the transition to college, making new friendships, etc.), the thing that I would say has changed the most would be the level of interaction I have with people. Even with being in-person much of last year, I still felt isolated, and frankly, even scared (2020 was one of the most unpredictable years).”

Now however, both student groups are meeting in person and Dylan and Emmet are gaining a new appreciation for what they have learned by navigating through the difficulty of the pandemic.

Dylan says “I love it! It’s wonderful to be able to conduct the business of the meetings in person and have conversations and gatherings after the meetings as well. It makes it feel more like a community. I have gained a new appreciation in general from in-person meetings. Even in a professional setting, the face-to-face experience is truly invaluable.”

Emmet was looking for a place to connect with fellow history majors, and with History Now he feels he has “found a pretty solid group,” and that “living through the pandemic has made me grow into a much kinder, more enthusiastic person, and for that, I am thankful.”

When asked about the organization and how he would describe it to others who are thinking of joining, Dylan says, “The Alexandrian Society provides the opportunity to grow professionally and academically in the field of history. It’s also a great way to connect with folks who can help you in your professional and academic endeavors in and beyond college.”

Dylan also describes the connections he has built over the course of his involvement with the Alexandrian Society saying, “I have built a solid connection with Dr. Moitt who never fails to help out those who show their will to excel.”

Like Dylan, Emmet has formed connections with faculty as a result of his experiences in History Now. “I have built an especially strong connection with Dr. Craig. I will likely consult her for many things beyond History Now!”

Students all over VCU are enjoying the added benefits of in-person connections in academic activities, and it is imperative that we continue to keep up the safety measures that allow us to keep nurturing these connections through the rest of the semester and academic year.

For more information on The Alexandrian Society and History Now, please visit the History Department’s student-organizations page.