Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the incoming freshmen of Agnes Scott were willing to share their thoughts with me. We have all had time to think about what going to college this fall means to us. For me, it means a new start and memories to make. For others, they are understandably apprehensive. I asked some of my fellow Class of 2024 graduates a series of questions to understand their perspective and their feelings.
As many students were worried about living on campus, there are those that had chosen to commute and do as much virtual learning as possible. Elizabeth Singh is one. I asked if going to college during COVID-19 made her apprehensive towards going to school and if so, why? Her response shocked me. As someone who doesn’t live in a home with immunocompromised people, knowing somebody who does is like seeing them through new eyes. There are multiple people in her family that are immunocompromised and she had elected to put them first. While there are some students who are disappointed that they would be missing out on opportunities, so many willingly gave it up for the safety of themselves and family. We may not be able to control the pandemic, but we can control the spread. And Agnes Scott is helping us do just that.
Agnes Scott and their staff have been with us the entire way through the application process to enrolling and finding out how the world and campus will be changing. Afnan Mahmud told me, “I appreciate how much work they are putting into the virtual events. The recent COVID-19 updates are very clear and easy to understand.” It is quite refreshing to be given trustworthy information and updates by so many people. Not only have we received updates from the student-led SGA program, but President Zak sent out an email to help ease us. Having learned we were going to be moving fully-online this semester hurt every student, especially the incoming freshmen. The blue class is experiencing some of their most memorable moments virtually. For us, Orientation and Black Cat Week were two events we were looking forward to but have now lost the full experience.
But in the presence of the pandemic, students are finding new things to focus on. Many are turning to new hobbies and are looking forward to joining clubs. We look forward to meeting new people, enjoying activities such as seminars and our newly virtual orientation, and making the friends we will have for a lifetime. The Class of 2024 is excited to meet all of those on and off campus, experience all that Agnes Scott and the community has to offer. We are glad to have found a (albeit virtual) home.