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Godwin graduates on their COVID-19 college experience

By Lucy Saunders and Gabby Kalinovsky

For most students, college serves as a fresh start. It is their chance to meet new people, move out of their hometown, and pursue their passions. 

But due to the worldwide pandemic, many colleges have remained closed, leaving students stuck at home, beginning their college experience through a computer screen. 

Several Godwin graduates are fortunate enough to be spending time in their dorms, even though the majority of their classes are online.

Abby Taylor, a 2020 Godwin alumnus and VCU freshman, is living in the city and attending classes in person while following social distancing guidelines.

While it may seem difficult to maintain a positive attitude about the current situation of the world, Taylor has stayed optimistic and has even made new friends.

“I came in with a negative mindset and came out with a positive one. There were a lot of virtual events that helped me acclimate to college life,” said Taylor.

Some hope remains for college students even as the worldwide pandemic continues to affect the United States.

College freshmen living on campus experienced a unique move-in process.

“We had to sign up for move-in times, wear masks, and space out. Since everyone was far apart, it was easy to social distance,” said Taylor.

The usual traditions may have been postponed or cancelled, but students remain hopeful for the upcoming year and what is to come. According to Taylor, her school held virtual events to welcome new students. 

 “There were a lot of virtual events that helped me acclimate to college life,” said Taylor.
Meanwhile, Claire Parkinson, a 2020 Godwin alumnus and student at Clemson University, is experiencing her freshman year entirely online while she stays at home.

“The hardest part is not being there and having to experience my first year at home through a computer screen,” said Parkinson.

There are also students staying at home part-time and attending in-person classes as well.

Anna MacBlane, a Godwin graduate and freshman at John Tyler Community College, follows this routine.

“I have two classes that meet once a week and my other two classes are all online. I have made a couple friends but we only meet once a week, so I don’t get to see them very often,” said MacBlane.

Students appear to be losing motivation as quarantine continues and their assignments remain online.

“I basically spend all my free time in my room now,” said Taylor.

While the fall has let many college athletes down, the spring brings new hope. 

Brent Blackmon, a Godwin graduate from 2019, is a sophomore at York College of Pennsylvania with his three roommates.

“I have enjoyed sometimes not having to walk to class in the morning, [and] instead, rolling out of bed and logging on to my computer to get to class,” said Blackmon.

Blackmon plays lacrosse in the spring, and has experienced changes with his training schedule.

“We have to socially distance and wear masks under our new helmets, which restricts off-season practice to very few drills and situations we can do. The hardest part of college life during COVID might be having to wear a mask in the gym and to practice, it’s a nuisance and it gets hard to breathe when I get sweaty,” said Blackmon.

Although it may be easy for students to feel discouraged about their college experiences during this time, many are remaining optimistic for the future.

“All I can do is hope that things will get back to normal before our lacrosse season starts in the spring,” said Blackmon.

photo courtesy Abby Taylor

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