Students reflect on a college experience centered around COVID-19

A QU students stands by the door of his quarantine room.

By Michele Barletta

As the pandemic develops and vaccines roll out, indicating we will be moving back to some sort of a normal life in the future, Quincy University students reflect on what their college experience has been like over the past year.

Masks have been mandatory on campus, classes were held online, and being tested for COVID-19 became a regular occurrence. Students were required to wear a face mask on campus and were encouraged to do the same when off campus.

Some courses were held online, in an attempt to limit the interaction between students and staff members. This allowed students to participate in class virtually, from the comfort of their dorm room or even their home.

Craig Chisholm explains that he would attend multiple online classes, without leaving his dorm room.

“On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s I had two classes online, so I would spend most of the day just on Zoom calls in my room,” Chisholm said.

Having classes online does have it’s advantages, as students were still able to attend class when traveling for sports.

Men’s soccer player, Luke Harris says that he didn’t have to miss class when he was traveling for soccer games this semester.

“Usually we have to be excused and then catch up what we missed, but there were so many times this year where I could join the call virtually from the bus so I didn’t miss anything important,” Harris said.

Students were happy to see re-introduction of the ‘dine-in’ option at the Quincy University cafeteria. For most of the fall semester, students had to take their meals to go and eat in their rooms. After a few weeks in the spring semester, QU’s dining services announced that limited seating will be allowed for students in the cafeteria. Nick Chapman says that he and his friends choose to dine-in almost every day.

“It’s just so much better eating inside, it brings another social aspect to college being able to sit with friends and just chat,” Chapman said.

Quincy University made living arrangements on campus for any students that contracted COVID-19 or were exposed to a positive person, to quarantine. Going into quarantine can take it’s toll on one’s mental health, Quincy University made themselves available for any students who needed someone to talk to whilst in quarantine or throughout the semester.

“It was horrible, I had absolutely nothing to do and I was going crazy, I just craved that human interaction and wanted to just speak to as many people as possible,” Chisholm said.

Students await to hear what life on campus will look like in the fall, with many hoping that it can go back to some degree of normal, considering the large number of students that have been vaccinated.

“Most of us have been vaccinated, I got it in February because I’m a student worker, but I know more and more people have got it since then as it’s become more available,” Chapman said.

Chapman says that what will make the main difference, will be not having to wear masks around campus.

The social aspect of college was extremely different this year, as social events and gatherings were not allowed on campus. Anthony Binaei explains that while he understands that the virus can be spread easily at parties, he misses being able to socialize with friends.

“Obviously I get it, I mean we can’t go around spreading the virus, but we do miss it, we just want to hang out with friends and enjoy our college years,” Binaei said.

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