Karlee Van De Venter for The Easterner
About a month ago, students at EWU were finishing up winter quarter, studying at JFK Library and working out at the URC. People were still roaming the campus mall, hanging out with friends and continuing with daily activities. Many students were planning to travel for spring break or return home to spend time with their families.
Now student life has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With only about 200 residents remaining in Pearce and snyamncut halls, the rest of the students have moved out of the dorms to complete online spring quarter classes at home, leaving campus feeling empty.
When Gov. Jay Inslee extending the “Stay home, Stay healthy” order until May 4, he encouraged individuals to not leave their homes unless it is for an essential purpose.
This order has brought changes to those students who moved home after living in the dorms for the previous quarters of the academic year. Practicing social distancing has forced the community to look for activities to occupy their time. Kayla Rainey, a junior at EWU, talked about the few things keeping her busy during quarantine.
“I’ve picked up diamond painting and that along with homework has definitely been filling up my free time.” -Kayla Rainey, Junior
“I’ve definitely been keeping in contact with my friends from campus since I miss them very much and I’ve enjoyed spending time with my family here at home,” said Rainey. “I’ve picked up diamond painting and that along with homework has definitely been filling up my free time.”
Since spring has arrived and the weather is starting to get nicer, it has been easier to spend time outside.
“One thing I am doing is going for walks and working out more,” said Morgan Baum.
Now that EWU is two weeks into spring quarter, students have been concentrating on adjusting to online classes and how to manage their schoolwork. A few students commented on how their experience with classes has been this quarter.
Freshman Jaclyn Gazewood said her experience has been great.
“I’ve created a schedule to help me stay on track.” -Jaclyn Gazewood
“My professors have been pretty clear about what they expect from me,” said Gazewood. “I’ve created a schedule to help me stay on track and get my class stuff done in the morning like I normally would have if I was on campus.”
Baum said her classes have been going fine as well.
“My professors are very understanding of technical issues,” said Baum. ‘However, these issues can sometimes take time to resolve which then takes time away from school.”
For students not living on campus this quarter, the absence of interacting with friends and the community can be challenging.
“The thing I miss most about being on campus is living in the dorms and having a sense of independence that I don’t get while I’m here at home,” said Rainey. “I also miss being able to see my friends and the community I had developed on campus.”
Hanna Jones, a freshman at EWU, mentioned that she misses constantly being around people.
“I am such a people person that being isolated is a huge change for me,” said Jones.
Gazewood said that in quarantine, it helps her to make a schedule for herself and stick to it everyday.
“It’s really easy to lose productivity and motivation when you don’t have a schedule,” said Gazewood.
This quarantine has been difficult as the EWU community continues to practice social distancing to keep others safe. The inability to see friends and the loss of in-person lectures can be challenging for students.
“This whole thing has made me realize how much I take social interaction for granted,” said Jones. “I would give anything to be with my friends on campus right now.”