It’s no surprise that this semester was very different from the rest. For incoming first-years, this was a whole new, rapidly changing world due to COVID-19. First-years had to adjust a lot to this new atmosphere. 

Keene State College first-year Ellie Patterson had a hard time adjusting socially and academically. 

I feel very isolated. It feels like the school is encouraging us to make connections with each other, but punishing us if we do so. I have no classes in person so I’m never around other people,” Patterson said.

 Patterson also talked about how she struggled with school work.

“It’s really hard to get a mountain of work done when there’s no strict deadlines or any sort of structure. I tried using a planner and the reminders in my phone, but ultimately, you’re the one making the decision to do the work then or procrastinate further,” Patterson said.

Patterson said that they had to force themselves to do their work and sometimes they just didn’t bother to try.

“I think I would have lived off campus (but I wasn’t allowed) because I wouldn’t have been paying a steep amount of money to rent a bed basically and be on my computer all day. At home, I would have socialized with my family and been able to go to work more. If I had the chance, I would’ve also taken more in-person classes if it were an option,” Patterson said.

Many first-years faced the same issues with adjusting to schoolwork and social life on campus. 

Keene State College first-year Kourtney Wall related to Patterson. , 

“The biggest challenge would be trying to stay focused while on Zoom,” said Wall. “When I’m in classes via Zoom, there are many things around me that might take my attention away from the class (my bed, phone, roommate, etc.) and it has been difficult to not let that happen.”

Wall said she wished she got involved more, she loved the events put on by the Student Activities Council (SAC). 

“I really enjoyed the activities that SAC put on. Being able to participate in something at the end of the week provided me with motivation to push through the hard times,” said Wall.

Keene State College first-year Jared Wile also had a hard time adjusting to classwork, so he set up a plan of time management. “I just wish I had more time to prepare for my classes,” Wile said.

Keene State College first-year Connor Patterson said he struggled a lot socially this semester, “My biggest challenge was making friends this year. I still don’t have more than two. The other hardest part was learning on Zoom. I’m more of a visual, in-person learner,” Patterson said.

Patterson talked about how he attended as many in-person classes as possible. He said that the one thing he would change about this semester is COVID-19, so he could have a normal college experience.


Abigail Lynn can be contacted at:

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