Since the outbreak of COVID-19 across the country, colleges sent home their students for the safety of the community. Saint Anselm announced that students were required to evacuate campus on March 13, and in the last month, they have been keeping busy while at home in a variety of ways.
The Hilltop is home to one of the country’s most prestigious and successful nursing programs. While at home, many nursing students have taken the opportunity to help their local communities and hospitals by working and volunteering. While the nursing students did not get to physically finish their clinical rotation this semester, many of them are gaining new experiences in the past month in the field.
With a lack of staff and students’ passion to help others as future nurses, these students put themselves on the front line in order to help flatten the curve. Michelle Quigley, a junior nursing major from Framingham, Massachusetts, is working at a local nursing home during her time outside of class. The experience during the pandemic outbreak has been different from her past experiences in nursing homes and hospitals with necessary precautions now being taken at her workplace.
“We have to have masks on the whole time we’re in the building, and when we go in the precaution rooms we have to save and reuse our gowns and face shields,” Quigley says. With the shortage of medical supplies, many Saint Anselm students have also been spending their time sewing and donating masks to healthcare workers in order to help solve this issue.
Remote learning has been a major adjustment from the in-person classes that students are used to. On average, students have reported that one benefit to remote learning is having more time to rest, due to many classes having shorter meeting times and lack of extracurricular activities.
On the contrary, many students have stated that the workload has increased dramatically since remote learning has begun. “I have so much school work now that we are online, some professors assign two chapters per week,” says Isabella Cipriano ’21. Students also said that they are experiencing inadequate or distracting work space due to a lack of privacy or quiet in their home.
Aside from schoolwork, students have been taking this time to explore new hobbies. Many are going on walks, creating artwork, exercising, and playing games. “I have been trying to cook different foods and bake different desserts I’ve never tried before,” says Jillian Sweeney ‘21.
The school consistently provides support for students through virtual programs sponsored by different areas of campus using Zoom. Campus Ministry is hosting retreats, livestreaming daily prayer and masses, and holding meetings and support groups for students. The Campus Activities Board has also kept up its interaction with students, hosting a virtual talent show as well as multiple games with fun giveaways.
The Intercultural Center hosts movie night discussions as well as talk series for students to attend. With these many opportunities, students can still feel connected to the places and people that make Saint Anselm “home” for them, even from far away. Many students reported missing the structure and social life of being on campus and expressed that they are looking forward to seeing their friends again when we are able to return.