A first-year perspective on attending college in a pandemic

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Daniela Bellantoni

Bellantoni and Micela’s family unit. (Left to right: Arielle Gallucci, Hailey Killian, Daniela Bellantoni, Alyssa Bellantoni, Nicole Micela).

Jj Perdido, Sports Editor

The current higher education situation is anything but normal, but it displays a different experience for college freshman.

There are many things that a student must adapt to during their first semester in college. For freshman this year, adhering to a new form of learning as well as a new way of campus life is the biggest challenge to overcome.

Daniela Bellantoni, a freshman communications major, has faced these challenges in her first semester with an optimistic outlook on the year, alongside her roommate, Nicole Micela, a freshman Childhood Education major.

Bellantoni prefers in-person classes for the “in-person experience.” She enjoys the opportunity to interact with her professors and fellow students. However,  three of her six classes are hybrid. This means that some of her classes are in person and some are online.

Socializing on campus is another challenge that has been mended to fit social distancing guidelines. Micela mentioned that “If COVID wasn’t going on, I would have met and hung out with more people.”

With an optimistic approach, however, the social aspect of college has not been completely omitted. The concept of a family unit has helped students stay social, where students who live in the same room, semi-suite or suite do not have to socially distance, nor wear face coverings.

“We mostly spend time in our room, we don’t really go out,” she stated. “But I feel like the five of us have just been making the most of it by playing games or just hanging out in our room,” and when asked if she feels she and her family unit are getting closer, she answered, “Yeah. One-hundred percent.”

“My roommates and I help each other out with school, work or problems in general….it still feels good being able to hang out with just my roommates and be on campus,” Micela added.

With such an untraditional welcoming to college, students like Bellantoni and Micela are making the best of the situation, staying on top of their academics, and enjoying what they can of their college experience.