New and returning students journal COVID-19 experiences

Autumn Pitchure, Staff Reporter

Courtesy / Nicholas Wehby

Freshman, Nicholas Wehby: Mechanical Engineering Major

“I haven’t been able to really have a great transition going into college because of COVID-19. I don’t mean that through partying or anything like that — I mean not being able to have face to face classes! I feel as if I won’t be able to make new friends and if I do, it will be very difficult six feet apart. My first day definitely wasn’t like I expected. I had two online classes on Blackboard, and it was very confusing on what the expectations were for the classes and how my professors were going to try and help us through difficult transitions. I can only hope for the best; that I will become accustomed to my new methodology of what the school system offers.”

Courtesy / Alex Flannery




Freshman, Alex Flannery: Computer Science Major

“As a freshman, I’ve had to adapt to being away from home. During the first week of being here, I had to figure out ways to keep me active and on top of school. COVID-19 ruined my experience in college classrooms because I have three online classes and one hybrid. This means I have to focus more on being proactive than normal and constantly checking on my school workload, making sure I don’t miss anything.”



Courtesy / Hannah Bowen

Junior, Hannah Bowen: Communications Major

“It was hard working this summer since many people weren’t hiring new people. It was such a bummer because I stayed in Allendale only to find out my internship was going to be postponed. Paying rent was a challenge. Also, it has been hard to balance all of the different types of classes. I have hybrid, online and in-person classes. It’s kind of a challenge figuring out how to balance all the different forms that my classes are in. It’s hard to lay out a plan for the week since every class is laid out differently. Also, I worry about my grandparents and my mom because she is a high school teacher. It’s weird with how different things are now, but there is not much I can  do because it’s a pandemic.”




Courtesy / Karlie Champion


Junior, Karlie Champion: Communication Sciences and Disorders Major

“My study abroad trip to Greece was canceled due to COVID-19 and it affected my job. I work at a nursing home, so I was still able to work as an essential worker. However it is a high stakes environment, so we had to be especially careful. Health screenings, temperature readings and lots of PPE. I am so disappointed about school with the study abroad cancellation, all my classes being moved online and my clubs only being able to meet virtually. It is definitely a different experience asking questions by pressing a “raise hand” button. I am nervous about getting the same quality of learning online versus in person. However, I totally understand the circumstances and want all my friends and peers to stay healthy.



Courtesy / Emily Kaatz

Senior, Emily Kaatz: Finance and Management Major

“My grandpa was a funeral director, and he got sick in late March from meeting with a family who was arranging a funeral for their family member that had died because of COVID-19. He was sick at home for a week before he moved to the hospital for a little over a month, before he passed away from complications that the virus had caused. He had no preexisting conditions, ran every day and was the healthiest person I know. The virus caused him to have heart problems and eventually pulmonary fibrosis, which was the cause of his death. At the same time he was in the hospital my uncle was diagnosed with COVID-19 as well. I graduate in December, so I lost the last half of my senior year by going online. To be honest this virus has taken family members from me, my senior year of college and most job opportunities I would have had after graduating.”