Corona Complicating Freshman Year of College

Written by Rachael Pellegrini|
Photos by Caitlin Turner and Alyssa Lemay|

In the spring of 2019, Caitlin Turner and Alyssa Lemay graduated from The Morgan School and were headed off to start college in the fall. Caitlin currently goes to the University of New Hampshire where she is pursuing a dual major in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. Caitlin is considering minoring in Spanish. Alyssa attends the University of New Haven where she studies Criminal Justice and Police Science while also doing ROTC training. After completing their first semesters at college, their second semesters at school have been cut short by COVID 19, forcing them to leave campus and continue classes from home.

Due to the uncertainty of the virus and the rest of the school year, the college students have returned home partway through their second semester. Living on campus gives students great amounts of freedom and the ability to make their own decisions without having to get permission for everything they do.

Caitlin Turner said that she was missing the social aspect and freedom of college greatly: “At school, I would be able to see my friends whenever I wanted, and I wouldn’t have to ask permission from my parents to do anything, which was nice freedom to have.” An abrupt end to the semester left students having to say quick goodbyes and pack to go home. Caitlin explained, ” I had a girlfriend who was a first-semester senior and the spring was her last semester on campus. She lives in Texas and because of this we had to break up leaving me at home sad, for the most part.”

Alumni Alyssa Lemay is part of the ROTC training at the University of New Haven where young adults are trained to become officers in the U.S. Military. Students who are a part of other extracurricular programs such as ROTC Programs had to leave behind these programs. Unfortunately with the University closing, Alyssa’s ROTC training has been switched over to individual PT sessions tracked over an app called Strava, rather than group training.

With universities ending the semester early and switching everything to online, students appreciate and yearn for the things that they might have taken for granted when they were at college. During her time at the University of New Haven, Alyssa lived in a suite with 11 other people. Now that she is home, she says, ” I used to complain about my dorm, but now I want everything back. I would love to stay in a suite with 11 other girls where the hallways always smell like something new and foul. I am so grateful for my friends and just my university overall.”

Unlike some college students, Alyssa and Caitlin still have three more years to add to their college experiences. Although this epidemic has made an abrupt end to their first years at college, both of them are ready to get back in the fall to see their friends once again. Seniors in college are not as lucky.

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