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Freshmen embrace a different start to college experience

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Cheyenne Vargas
Staff Writer

Most high school graduates who dreamed of the college experience, expected, or at least hoped, that it would be live and in person. Then came COVID-19.

So this fall for the first time, and hopefully the last, freshman began their virtual journey, from orientation to classes to clubs and more. And they, like the rest of the students at the University of La Verne and so many colleges across the country, have begun to adapt. And most have a positive attitude, as they look hopefully toward an on-campus spring semester.

“If I was given the option I would like to be on campus so I can get that college experience,” said Taylor Moore, a freshman journalism major.

After her senior year of high school was cut short, she looked hopefully toward college experience.

So far, despite working remotely, she’s still excited about being at ULV.

“This was still a huge accomplishment for me,” Moore said. “I just worry about the social aspect.”

To help, at least a little, the University held a virtual orientation. Students were placed in small groups to meet other freshmen and got advice on classes from their orientation leaders. They had  Zoom movie nights to kick off the new school year.

Jennifer Sanchez, a freshman English major, said that La Verne did a good job welcoming students. She said she made new friends online through orientation.

“I’m glad that ULV is such a small community where we were able to do things via Zoom and still feel close,” Sanchez said.

Other freshmen agreed the University has been supportive.

“Even though it has been a little more stressful since we don’t have some resources we would normally have, the University has more than made up for it,” said Grayson Ruyka, a freshman creative writing major.

Ruyka added he was a little disappointed about the remote situation. Though he said making friends online has been an upside.

Of course some experiences just can’t be duplicated online. Freshman student-athletes are missing out on their first semester of being on a  college team.

“COVID has affected my sport, which is cross country, said Edwardo Carillo, a freshman kinesiology major. “I have to run on my own most of the time.”

Despite this, Carillo said he is still motivated to work harder at not only his academics but at his sport as well.

“It’s the best and most stressful time of your life,” Moore said. “But you look back on it and have memories.”

Cheyenne Vargas can be reached at cheyenne.vargas@laverne.edu.

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