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Despite the raging pandemic, College freshmen are finding both academic and social comfort

By Zach Jacovini

On Aug. 3, students of all classes woke up to yet another day in the time of the coronavirus pandemic. However, this was no ordinary day, as when students went on their daily email check, they received a shocking surprise.

There would be no on campus housing for the 2020 fall semester, according to an email sent out by President Foster.

Many students were completely and utterly distraught when they received word that they would no longer have the opportunity to live on campus. Even though students like freshmen economics major Alyssa Gallagher thought this could happen, it didn’t make the situation any easier to come to grips with.

“My parents and I had already planned on the schools in N.J. not to open completely… I was really upset though because I was looking forward to going away and being on my own and rooming with my roommate who became my best friend,” Gallagher said.

While many claim Zoom isn’t the most ideal platform for professors to lecture on and students to learn on, everyone is still doing their best to maintain their academic goals. 

“All of my professors email me back… They have all been very understanding though which is great. I feel as if I’m not alone because everyone is learning how to use this technology together,” Gallagher said.

Students have quickly adapted to the remote situation thanks to professor adjustments.

As the fall semester is just past the halfway point, nervous students are beginning to wonder: ‘will we be back on campus for the spring semester?’ An email sent out recently by Foster was encouraging, as Foster claims that the College is hoping to use the hybrid model that was planned for the fall semester for the upcoming spring semester.

Despite the current burdens/difficulties students are faced with, students at the College are still making a conscious effort to get involved.

The student body is socializing with each other through opportunities such as Greek life recruitment, joining clubs, and running for student council positions, in unique ways, however, due to the inability for students to join one another on campus.

While it’s true that all of these opportunities are currently being done through virtual platforms, students are making the most out of a poor situation, and making acquaintances in a community different than they’ve ever been a part of before.

Kaitlin Capellupo, a freshmen biology major, is finding ways to make friends and connections at the College through joining clubs, and she detailed how while it isn’t the experience she wanted, she is still enjoying this new community she has found herself in.

Capellupo is a member of TCNJ’s Pre-Vet club, a club that is focused on helping students prepare for future veterinary careers through work opportunities and exam preparation.

“The club helps people who are looking to get into veterinary school by helping us study for exams as well as giving us opportunities to shadow vets while they work,” she said.

The College’s freshmen are getting involved despite COVID-19 (Envato Elements).

Capellupo affirmed that while the club hasn’t met often, she’s enjoyed the time she’s spent in it despite it being in a virtual format.

“Even though the club is online and we are unable to meet in person, I still feel really connected throughout the semester and I am looking forward to all this club has to offer,” she said.

Jessica Eggert, a freshmen major who is undecided, has gotten involved with the College through Greek life recruitment.

“I have a few sororities that I like, but not one specific one because I’m waiting to meet more people from other sororities,” said Eggert.

She went on to explain that while she certainly wishes she could experience a normal recruitment experience, she is still happy to have an opportunity to test out if Greek life is for her.

“I would say it’s still fun, but I prefer to meet everyone in person,” said Eggert.

While students, as well as the rest of the college community, are disappointed in how this semester has turned out, they are still doing their best to find the light in a time filled with darkness.


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