Freshmen students experience their first semester online
As UH freshmen transition to college life during the coronavirus pandemic, many are supplementing their completely virtual classes with the fellowship of an on-campus community.
Despite COVID-19 disrupting this past semester, day-to-day social interactions and the energy of being in a vibrant campus environment have helped the class of 2024 thrive during a heavily online first semester.
“The transition to college is really hard, of course, but (being on) campus has helped because there’s other people going through the same things,” said computer and electrical engineering freshman Kay Frazier. “It’s fun to make friends with people to help you.”
Being previously isolated during quarantine highlighted the need to stay connected with others beyond a laptop screen, especially for freshmen adjusting to UH.
“We do big study groups in the common room, and I think I really like movie nights or when we all go to the dining hall together,” Frazier said.
Whether bowling in Student Center South, grabbing ice cream at Shasta’s Cones & More or exercising at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, UH freshmen have found unique outlets to relax and form friendships outside of virtual classes.
“I recently joined Campus Outreach and they take us places to bible study,” said Spanish freshman Tynecia Davis. “And I’ve met so many people. We went to Galveston and were on the beach, and I’m doing a lot of stuff I wouldn’t be able to do if I was at home.”
At the same time, freshmen must weigh the risks of leaving home during the pandemic against the rewards of an on-campus experience.
The University’s coronavirus safety precautions, such as the campus-wide mask policy and frequent sanitization of dining hall spaces, helped Davis feel more confident in her decision to live on-campus.
Like Davis, many freshmen residents are excited for a UH experience beyond class lectures.
“I think overall I made a good decision so far,” Davis said. “It’s just making those simple college memories that’s fun to me.”