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Opinion: Living on Campus During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

A residence hall room at Meredith College
Photo courtesy of Meredith College

As a current freshman at Meredith, I have experienced a first year of college like no other. However, living on campus has provided me with some semblance of normalcy in this time of uncertainty. I am not from the Raleigh area and knew from the day I applied to attend Meredith that I would be living on campus in a residence hall for my freshman year. However, when I was preparing to move in and even when I was settling into my dorm, I had worries about how life away from my family would be. I did not know how COVID-19 would affect me and my experience on campus, which brought me a lot of anxiety and stress.

Moving into college was much weirder than what I had envisioned. I only had my parents to assist me and I didn’t have as much help as I would have had it been a normal year. I also never really met the people on my hall or my neighbors. We had hall socials on Zoom, but it wasn’t the same. Though many things are different, some other elements of campus life did not change due to COVID-19. I met my roommate on the Class of 2024 Facebook group, I attended hall meetings and I continue to connect with others in any way I can. I also participated in the normal freshman traditions which helped me feel better integrated and comfortable on campus. My hallmates and I participated in a hall raid during Cornhuskin’ Spirit Week in November, which was a relatively normal activity for us as the Meredith College community.

One massive benefit of living on campus this year is that I always had someone to talk to or make plans with. Having someone to live with has helped me feel more comfortable and better integrated into campus life. Making memories and trying new things has also enhanced my college experience more than I had anticipated. I have already made some amazing friends, and I am certain that living on campus when life is back to normal will be even more fulfilling and wonderful than it was this year.

I never anticipated that I would live through a pandemic, and it has greatly influenced my college experience. Everyone living on campus has dealt with the looming question of “are we going to get sent home?” for the entire academic year, but through our consistent dedication to safety and caution, we have remained on campus thus far. Wearing masks and social distancing in the halls and in our rooms when we have visitors keeps us safe and healthy. Although there are various aspects of living on campus that have changed due to COVID-19, I feel privileged to live at Meredith and take advantage of as many opportunities as I can. It is critical that Meredith residents continue to practice the 3W's so that we can stay on campus for the rest of the school year.

By Freya Dahlgren, Staff Writer


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