Towards the end of our spring break, Mississippi State University sent an email to students saying that spring break was extended and we needed to prepare to go online for a period of time. Not long after that did we, as a Mississippi State family, realize the goodbyes we said or didn't say before break were our final ones for this school year. COVID-19 has closed stores, churches, schools, and completely altered the lives of people all around the world.
This panel takes time to discuss how five college students have been adjusting in this time of quarantine.
Where are you spending your quarantine?
Amelia - I am at my parents' house, doing lots of school work and just trying my best to prepare for my future!
Cat: At home, I have been doing school, going to runs around the neighborhood when it's not raining, and spending time with my family.
Faith: I'm also at home and doing school, my sister and I have been watching a lot of movies.
Hanna: I'm back home in Dallas, and I've been spending a lot of time doing Studio work and going to walks.
Katie: I've been home in Birmingham, my parents bought my sister and I a kiddie pool so we have been spending our time in that while they go to work. I've also been taking lots of walks around the neighborhood and watching movies and new shows.
How do you feel about Mississippi State's response to COVID-19?
Amelia - The did the right thing, but in the wrong way. They definitely waited too long to send out information and didn't prepare us for what was to come, not to mention they didn't word things in a way that provided enough information. I'm still not even sure I fully understand what's going on.
Cat - They were efficient, but they did fall behind so many other schools.
Faith - They made good decisions, but weren't very timely. I really hope that they find a way to give us our money back.
Hanna - They should have prepared us sooner, other schools warned students before leaving for spring break and I think Mississippi State should have done the same.
Katie: I didn't like all of the emails we got before the initial decision because a lot of them were very vague. They did give us plenty of time to go back and get our things and sort of prepare for the rest of the semester.
When did you first start to realize this was serious?
Amelia - I always kind of new it was serious, but didn't realize how big of an impact it would have until my sister and her family got sick.
Cat - At first it didn't feel real, until about 2 weeks ago I started feeling like it got more serious when graduations started getting canceled.
Faith - My dad lives in California so when he went into lockdown a few weeks ago is when it really hit me. I live in DeSoto county and it currently has one of the largest number of cases in Mississippi, so I've known and seen the severity for a while.
Hanna - Before spring break it didn't really seem real, but towards the end when things started getting canceled/moved on line is when I realized, then I got sick and it hit much harder.
Katie - I think it was when the president extended quarantine through April and when schools, other than large universities, started canceling and making changes.
What do you miss most about being on campus?
Amelia - I miss my house and my daily routine, being back at my parents' has thrown me for a loop. I mainly miss my organizations and getting to see my people and professors every day.
Cat - My friends, and walking to class.
Faith - Friends and being around them all the time, and annoying my roommate whenever I want.
Hanna - The closure and not getting to say goodbye, also my Studio classes and all of the connections they gave me.
Katie - The obvious answer is friends and my organizations, and the family feel of MSU. I also miss those people I have a class with and don't get to talk too much outside of class.
What's something you didn't realize you'd miss?
Amelia - The resources on campus, getting to just walk to the library and sit in the quiet. Mainly, going to class.
Cat - Walking to class and the people in my classes.
Faith - Dudy Noble, I never liked baseball until this year so I just miss the atmosphere.
Hanna - Everyday Starkville things like HWY 12 and seeing people between classes.
Katie - My organizations and seeing people in class.
What's the first thing you're doing when you go back?
Amelia - I'm (sadly) graduating so the next time I go back I'll be moving out of my cute, little house, but I'm for sure going to Stag and visiting the Welcome Center whenever I get the chance. Good news is I'm only two hours away so all it is is a day trip.
Cat - Going to the Bin for food and just taking a walk across campus.
Faith - Going to Moes, we were supposed to celebrate my friend's birthday after break but since we didn't get the chance going back will be even more exciting.
Hanna - I get to go back before fall, but I am so excited to see my friends and move into my new apartment.
Katie - Hugging my roommate!!!!
How are you helping those around you?
Amelia - Washing my hands, and staying inside as much as I can.
Cat - Staying inside, social distancing, my mom has been very serious about the whole thing so I don't have much of a choice other than to do my part.
Faith - We are currently in a Shelter-In-Place, so staying inside.
Hanna - Staying home all that I can, and delivering groceries to those who can't leave home.
Katie - Staying inside way more than most people.