Fall is usually a time for new beginnings, and one of the biggest shifts that a person can go through is moving into college. With this in mind, , college freshmen this year have faced a particularly difficult challenge with all the uncertainty that comes with living in this pandemic. Students were unsure if they would even be moving out of their homes come August, or if they’d move hundreds of miles only to be quarantined in a dorm room. Many are still questioning what might happen if their campus shuts down altogether.
Emma Johnson ‘20 is a freshman at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, which is roughly a 22-hour drive from Omaha. She lived with uncertainty for months as the date for the release of housing information continued to get pushed back, but she found out that she would be able to move in on September 8, and even that was provided she followed extremely strict guidelines. “They had us all sign an agreement saying that if COVID got really, really bad, Dartmouth has the right to tell us all that we have twenty-four hours to get out and get on a plane to go home,” Johnson said. She had to take four COVID tests as a part of her move-in procedure and the college will be testing them weekly. So far, out of the roughly 3,100 students on campus, only two students have tested positive, which is fantastic news for all who hope for the college to stay open.
Connor Gregg is a freshman at Duke University in North Carolina, roughly 1,200 miles away from Omaha. He was thrilled when he found out that he’d still be moving into his dorm room in August, but when registration came around, he was only able to register for online classes. While still happy for the opportunity to be there, he was disappointed that he wouldn’t be getting the ‘full experience,’ and this development left him unsettled about the possibility of the campus shutting down altogether and what that might mean for him.
On the other hand, students like Sydney Dell envy Gregg’s situation. Dell was over the moon when she found out she had been accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her happiness faded when she found out that she would have to stay at home and take online classes for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, Dell has made the best of her situation, converting a basement bedroom into her ‘dorm’ and looking forward to the day when she can move to the campus and officially start her college journey.