Freshman Carrie Hawes-Sanders taking notes in the Mary Livermore Library. PN Photo/ Jay Locklear.
It has been two weeks since in-person classes have resumed at UNCP. While there are returning students, who have experienced the closures of campus in March, there is also a wave of freshmen who are experiencing college for the first time. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, freshmen have started their first week of college differently than what anyone could have predicted.
This year, there are more things for freshmen to adjust to. A new environment, hybrid classes and social distancing all add to the stressful experience of starting college. Freshman Amanda Botto expressed having trouble with having to drop classes, not being affectionate with other people, and the cancelation of performances she would have otherwise participated in. When asked if the pandemic has changed her viewpoint on college she said, “Not really. I just have to be more hygiene centralized thinking and I have to be careful what I touch and who I talk to.” Botto is a Music Education major with an instrumental concentration.
Not all is negative when it comes to starting college during a pandemic. As freshman Liam Christian, a Business Management major said, “There’s more time out of class and more time to do work.” With hybrid schedules, all students are not required to be in class every day of the week. This allows for possible days off that can be used to catch up on any missed work. Amanda Botto feels as though because of the pandemic, professors are more understanding and more relaxed with attendance than they would have been previously. This is good for freshmen who still need to adjust to the independency college brings.
UNCP has done its part in helping students adjust to college life during the pandemic as well. Self-care packages were offered to both resident and commuter students which included a UNCP themed cloth mask, multiple disposable masks, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, a thermometer, a list which listed the symptoms of Covid-19, as well as guidelines on what students can do to ensure everyone remains safe. Along with the self-care packages, social distancing stickers have been placed on the floor in buildings, helping everyone stays six feet apart. Temperature checking stations, hand sanitizer and disposable masks placed at guest centers, buildings, and one-way hallways were also implemented to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
In just two short weeks freshmen have had a lot to adjust to. However, UNCP staff and faculty are going out of their way to ensure a smooth transition, even during a pandemic. While this has been stressful for us all, it is important to adhere to campus guidelines regarding COVID-19. This information can be found on the homepage of the school’s website www.uncp.edu.
Freshman Diana Carrasco studying in the Mary Livermore Library. PN Photo/Jay Locklear.