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Back To The Bricks: Students Tell The Story In Photos

NC State welcomed students in August, bringing energy and life back to campus. Photograph by Natalie Folsom '23.

College campuses have their own rhythm, and they usually happen on schedule without fail.

There’s the summer slowdown, when the campus pulse is fueled by students catching up on some needed credits. There’s the brief emptiness of winter break, when most students head home for a few weeks. There’s the wind-down of spring that culminates in packing up and moving out, whether for the summer or for good. There are seasons of goodbyes and seasons of hellos.

And then there’s August. Suddenly, there it is: The traffic jam on Hillsborough Street. Parents lugging bins of clothing, supplies and keepsakes from home. Freshmen charting out their walks between classes. Long lines at Fountain Dining Hall. “Leasing Now!” flags hung out in front of apartment buildings.

Lately, our rhythm has been a bit out of whack. But in August, we saw it return as NC State welcomed back more than 37,000 students to campus. Yes, it was different. In class and in the library, students wore masks and everyone had to either upload vaccination cards or get tested every week. Packapalooza was canceled, but the Midnight Howl and Run went on — this time starting at the newly refurbished Belltower that now chimes in the hours with real bells.

We wanted to capture the first full back-to-school week in almost a year. And who better to take the photographs than students themselves? So we reached out to NC State’s Student Media office and assembled a team of seven students and recent grads, all of whom honed their photo skills at the Technician, the Agromeck or the Nubian Message. For a week in August, they fanned out across campus to get an inside look at back to school 2021, when NC State found its rhythm again.


Meet The Photo Team

Get to know the photographers and their photos below by clicking on each one to zoom in.


No more empty windows on the Wolfline as students use the bus to get around campus. Photograph by Amrita Malur ’22.
In the dorms, it was time for a mom-style cleaning. Ryanne White, a freshman animal science major, watches as her mother wipes down the bunks. Photograph by Aditya Penumarti ’21.
The Power Sound of the South is back in business with clarinets swaying in line. When the pandemic began in March 2020, the marching band, like many other student groups, shut down. Photograph by Kaydee Gawlik ’19.
Tiancong Liao, a junior in material science and engineering, watches a lecture in Hunt Library. Photograph by Natalie Folsom ’23.
Matthew Nguyen, a sophomore studying computer science, on Hunt Library’s trademark yellow stairs. Photograph by Natalie Folsom ’23.
Aiming for the finish line at the Midnight Howl and Run, a 1.6-mile run across campus that starts at the Belltower. Photograph by Nick Faulkner ’21–’22.
The resident advisers, better known as R.A.’s, were on hand to sanitize carts in between move-ins at Owen Dorm. Photograph by Marissa McHugh ’21.
Moving to the music at Back 2 School Jam, an annual event to welcome students of color to campus. Photograph by Kaydee Gawlik ’19.
Outside Talley Student Union, students line up during the Student Involvement Fair, a time for clubs and organizations to recruit new members. Photograph by Nick Faulkner ’21–’22.
There’s nothing better than meeting up with a friend, coffee in hand. Students stop to talk on the Brickyard during a class change. Photograph by Kierra Shook ’24.
Hillsborough Street is busy again as swarms of students flood the crosswalk. Photograph by Nick Faulkner ’21–’22.
Students brought laptops and masks to pre-calculus in SAS Hall on the first day of class. Photograph by Amrita Malur ’22.
Uttej Keerthi and Shivam Sharma, both industrial engineering grad students, on the balcony of Hunt Library. Photograph by Natalie Folsom ’23.
The Power Sound of the South is back in business. Sousaphones flash as the band crosses Dan Allen Drive. When the pandemic began in March 2020, the marching band, like many other student groups, shut down. Photograph by Kaydee Gawlik ’19.

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