Starting college can be an exciting time for freshmen. Meeting new people, staying up late and joining organizations are all part of the traditional college experience. However, this semester was unlike any other. Many freshmen experienced intense pressure and stress as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Freshman criminal justice major Destiny Corral said prior to starting school at Sam Houston State University, she was focused on finishing high school and treasuring old memories.
“I didn’t know really what to expect of my first semester before COVID-19,” Corral said. “I guess I never really had given it much thought, since at the time I had senior activities like prom, graduation, etc. on my mind.”
As cases increased in the U.S., many professors and student organizations transitioned meetings to an online format. While this was necessary to help slow the spread of the virus, social opportunities on campus decreased.
“In fear of catching the virus and getting me or my loved ones sick, I didn’t go out this semester unless it was truly necessary, which really made it hard to socialize with people and make more friends,” Corral said. “However, I really liked online classes since it gave me the opportunity to be able to go back home whenever I wanted but still be able to do my schoolwork.”
Prior to starting school this semester, Corral said she was really excited about attending extracurricular activities such as sporting events.
“I wish I could’ve attended football games,” Corral said. “Coming from a high school with no sports, it was something I was truly looking forward to.”
Corral has been able to maintain some semblance of a social life by joining Zeta Tau Alpha and making some new friends through that sisterhood.
“Overall, as a whole my first semester of college was okay,” Corral said. “It wasn’t the best, but I’m also aware it could’ve gone a lot worse, given some schools didn’t even allow their students to go back on campus this semester and at least I was.”
Looking forward to the future, Corral is keeping an open mind and remaining optimistic for what’s to come.