Obviously this semester doesn’t look anything like what anyone is used to. We want to smile at people as we pass them and be closer than 6 feet to our best friends. Even though none of this is ideal, we’re adjusting to a new way of life that is necessary right now.
As a freshman, it’s especially strange for us because we’ve never seen what a normal semester at Furman is like. I’m lucky because I’ve been on campus many times before I became a student, so I know that some of the changes right now are not the norm. One of the biggest challenges when starting my freshman year was trying to meet new people while everyone was wearing masks and keeping our distance. A lot of freshmen spent more time outside just sitting on a blanket or playing sand volleyball and Spikeball. Lots of people met just by introducing themselves and hanging out in groups outside since we are only allowed to have 4 people in a dorm room. It might have taken more time than usual, but things always have a way of working out. I’ve met some amazing people and such sweet friends! If I could go back and tell myself anything on that second night of college, I would say how even though things are so different this semester, just give it some time.
In the dining hall, Furman has made changes so that nothing is self serve anymore. The dining staff serves all the food and follows many precautions to keep everyone safe. The tables are limited to 4 people and are cleaned after use. This semester, you’ll see people outside having picnics ALL the time! It’s a great way to stay safe, but still get to socialize with your friends.
Classes obviously are very different this year too. Furman has a lot of fully online courses this semester, but some are still in person or a mix of the two. For in person class, the desks are spaced 6 feet apart and masks are required at all times. We clean the desks before or after each use and the professors usually stream class on zoom for any remote students. No one is used to learning this way, but we’re all adjusting to it. When I first walked into a classroom with this new set up, it was very strange, but after a few days it started to feel like a normal class.
The campus life at Furman does not look like a regular semester this year. Football season has been postponed to the spring, and with all the regulations, people have been hanging out in much smaller groups. Lake walks, picnics, and outdoor events have become even more common nowadays. As much as we all want life on campus to get back to normal, most Furman students are very understanding and know what we need to do right now in order to stay safe.
College in Quarantine
I am actually coming to you live right in quarantine! Crazy right?! Furman started random testing with 20% of campus and I was randomly selected for the first round. I had no symptoms and I wasn’t knowingly exposed to anyone who had the virus, so I was sure my test would be negative. I woke up two days after my test to 10 missed phone calls from Earle Health Center and the housing office. I called them back and realized I had tested positive and I would need to quarantine for the next 10 days. (Just a side note – this just shows how important it is to wear your masks and social distance whenever possible because I never even thought I had it!) They went through all the information I needed to know and my close contacts for the past 48 hours. I went home and quarantined at my house and now I’m so close to the end!
Classes in quarantine weren’t much different since 2 of my classes are online anyway. For the ones that are usually in person, I am able to get on zoom and watch the lecture that way. My professors have been so helpful and understanding because clearly this isn’t the ideal scenario for anyone. Quarantine in general is just very boring, but let’s just say I’ve now seen ALL the movies on my list on Netflix. It’s not nearly as bad as I was expecting, but I will be so excited to finally get to return to campus in a few days!
If you ever want to hear more about this semester at Furman or what quarantine looked like for me, don’t hesitate to reach out!!
ALL the love!