As restrictions continue to increase in the wake of COVID-19, college students around the globe are seeing their spring semesters on campus end too soon.
For Meredith students, this means not getting to experience many of their beloved spring traditions - including Stunt, Fire and Water, Crook Hunt, Class Day - and seeing commencement postponed.
More importantly, this means students aren’t able to see their professors in person every day or network or engage face-to-face in hands-on learning.
However, many Meredith students say they aren’t afraid of the challenge. In fact, they’re embracing it with resilience, trying to stay positive, and continuing to stay engaged in their community through technology.
Anne Robinson, ’20, took a lighthearted approach to the changes and set up her own “Meredith College, Charlotte Campus” from the comfort of her bedroom.
The dance program is also finding unique ways to stay connected. They’ve been holding virtual rehearsals via Zoom and sharing the fun on Instagram. On March 23, they shared a post of their virtual rehearsal with the caption “Meredith Dance Theatre class online!”
Outside of their virtual classrooms, students are sharing encouraging messages with one another as well. “Our last semester was simply cut too short,” said senior Lina Chaarawi. “However, I am choosing to remember all the traditions we did get to experience. Meredith College has truly shaped me into the woman I am today.”
Many other graduating seniors had similar encouraging words to share. Belle Rose, ’20, reassured her classmates with the following words: “We are not just strong, we are Meredith strong,” she said. “We will see each other again.”
Emily Mitchum, another member of the class of 2020, said she’s felt the weight of uncertainty this week more than she ever has before.
“I had spent the last three months prior to this week thinking my Meredith experience has been the best it possibly could be,” Mitchum said. “I’ve been up and down a lot this week, from selfish to selfless and back in a matter of minutes. But after seeing the love my class has and the strength they’re using to get through this heartache, I can gladly say, my experience has still been the best.”
President Jo Allen says she’s proud of the way students have handled the circumstances. “My heart is with you,” she said in a message to them. “I am so very proud of your focus on your goals, on your strengths, and on us all getting through this difficult time.”
Additionally, faculty and staff continue to come together to encourage students and help them practice resilience through online resources. Faculty advisers, the Office of Academic Advising, the counseling center, the Chaplain, career planning, and the StrongPoints staff are just a few of those continuing to support students virtually through one-on-one appointments
Meredith’s counseling and disability services Instagram account has also been a source of encouragement for students during this time.
Assistant Director of Disability Services Carolyn Koning shared the following words with students in a recent IGTV: “This is going to be challenging. Doing classes online, communicating with faculty, counseling, talking with your disability services person - all of this is going to be hard,” she said.“But we are going to figure it out, we are going to get through it, and we are going to be fine.”