What's College Like During A Pandemic?

By Student Team, 05/25/2021

As all of our campuses wind down the school year and our student team members prepare for graduation and the summer, we wanted to take a moment and look back at an extremely unique year in the undergraduate experience. We asked our students to reflect on their college experience during a pandemic. Here's what they had to say.

"Northwestern, much like pretty much every other school in the country, shut down in March of 2020. When my school shut down, it was right before the spring quarter of my Sophomore year and I’ve been at home ever since and done 4 full quarters of school online which has been… interesting to say the least. Being back at home has definitely come with its ups and downs with one of the ups being that I was able to save money by living at home and one of the obvious downs being that I haven’t been able to see my friends nearly as much as I’d like- but that just makes the times that we do get to see each other that much better.

I got vaccinated this March and I am planning on returning to school in person this upcoming fall, which is something that I’m super excited about, but I’m also feeling pretty apprehensive. I haven’t been on campus in over a year and I can’t imagine what going back to normal would even feel like. I’m glad that things are getting better and I’m grateful to be able to be in person for my senior year of college, but I feel like I’m somewhat of a different person now than I was when we all got sent home from school over a year ago. Nevertheless,  I’m looking forward to seeing what our new normal will look like and I can’t wait to see my friends in person again."

Eden, Northwestern University

"Going through college in a pandemic definitely hasn’t been what I expected it would be. At first, I was extremely frustrated and felt alone but now, I feel like I’ve gotten the hang of things and I’ve actually made friends over Zoom. It was hard and not ideal but I feel stronger coming out of it!"

Madeline English, Texas State University

"It's been a full party and a half. I have both met some of the most incredible people and been able to invest myself fully in passion projects both school-related and not. This time, while an immense tragedy for the world at large, has also had a silver lining in the time it has allowed us for self-growth and exploration."

Lila, Northwestern University

"Coffee got me through!"

Emily, Northwestern University

"This year was defined as one with new challenges and personal growth. As a Marketing Director for a chapter of a national organization (ALPFA), the challenges consisted of managing an organization through Zoom and supporting members through crisis such as the Texas winter storm. As a student, it was managing my mental health, physical health, and improving my attention span during class. I grew as a more empathetic leader and as a more conscious human; however, I do not wish any of the future college students to go through what we went through. To paraphrase Brene Brown, I wish everyone is able to build resilience in tough times - without carrying over the trauma."

Elvis, University of Texas at Austin

"It was pretty much all the stressful parts without the fun parts :("

Sarah, Northwestern University

"It definitely had its difficulties but I think it brought a lot of us closer together and made us appreciate our time more."

Amanda, University of Miami

"It was almost as if every day was the same. While the disconnect from school made me less motivated, I had the opportunity to grow closer with the few who I was constantly with."

Dhruv, University of Texas at Austin

"I miss the spontaneity of life on campus. Running into someone in the library could snowball into an all-day adventure, or just the chance to catch up with an old friend. I’m excited for those little interactions that got me through the day to come back."

Gus, Northwestern University

Needless to say, we're so excited for all of our students to get back to college as usual, or as close to usual as they can. We can't wait for next school year, to get back to some normalcy, get back to our bikes and shops, and of course, get back to all of our students.