Photo courtesy of the Sower Staff
By Katherine Sheldon
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the globe, CUNE, like many other universities, has made the decision to deliver classes entirely online for the remainder of the spring semester.
This decision, announced last week via email, has greatly affected many students as they reevaluate their spring plans. For some, it came as a total shock.
“I had never even imagined this happening,” junior Sara Kettelhake said. “Over spring break, I wasn’t necessarily up to date on everything that had been happening. It came as a big surprise. There was so much uncertainty and so many questions.”
For others, the decision was gradually anticipated, but no easier to take in.
“When we left for spring break, we had all these great plans and ideas and we were planning on seeing each other in a week,” sophomore Rebekah Henschen said. “Then when we got all the initial news, we were all holding onto the hope that we would be able to go back. I realized it was super serious when they finally emailed that we wouldn’t be able to go back to campus.“
Many other students are now grappling with all the goodbyes that were never said.
“I feel kind of sad that the shooting season is over because we have so many seniors on our small team,” freshman member of the shooting sports team Breanna Tarras said. “People thought that we would have more time with them and now we didn’t get to say goodbye.”
For some students who commute to campus, the transition is an easier one to make.
“So far, the only dramatic changes have been with school and church, both of which are online now,” said junior Brittan Taylor. “Other than that, nothing’s really different. I do school during the week; I work on the weekend. My attitude throughout the crisis has been “don’t panic” so, I’ll just ride it out.”
While classes are continuing online, many students are feeling the loss of friends and extracurriculars.
“While school is still going well, I’m missing my friends every day and all the extracurriculars I was part of,” freshman Haley Compton said.
Extracurriculars and athletics have been hard hit during this semester- with Spring seasons and performances now all cancelled or postponed.
“I realize that if COVID-19 didn’t exist I would be in dress rehearsals for the spring play “Wit” at this very moment”, sophomore Haleigh Fitzsimmons said. “I was rehearsing for a one act play I was very excited about, and I was looking forward to leading the Improv troupe for my first full semester. It’s been super hard having time cut so short and to see everyone’s hard work impacted by this event.”
Students will have various ways of coping with all the change. For some, humor seems to be the best way. One group of A Capella members created a YouTube channel called “Quarantine 1240” to help them deal with their self-quarantine.
“Making these videos has been really helpful in fighting off cabin fever,” senior Thomas Johnson said. “It gives us something to do every day and something to strive for. It’s like a goal or schedule that keeps us a little regimented.”
As the first week of online learning comes to a close, students are beginning to adjust to the new routine with the help of faculty and staff.
“It’s comforting to know that all of my professors are easy to work with and very understanding about the circumstances,” Kettelhake said. “I also find comfort in the fact that they’re doing chapel live every day. That has been a constant in my life my entire college career and I’m really, really glad that’s not changing now.”