Starting College in a Pandemic

The Class of 2020 has endured a tornado of disruptions, completing their final year in high school in the midst of a pandemic, but also starting college encountering a very different reality. Samantha Mosteller ’20, a recent Punahou graduate, now attends the University of Washington, and lives on campus. Here’s her account about her freshman year during COVID-19.

By Samantha Mosteller ’20

Currently, I’m not enrolled in any in-person classes. It’s definitely a struggle, but I like that a majority of my classes are asynchronous so I can go at my own pace. But it’s also difficult paying
attention to longer lectures and staying motivated to do schoolwork. I’ve met some people in my dorm by just saying “hi” to them when I walk past them, or in the elevator. I’ve also met people through Instagram. Social media is extremely helpful in connecting with people who also go to UW. There are a good amount of restrictions – a max of two people per dorm room; some lounges are closed; all libraries on campus are closed; a lot of cafes and restaurants on campus are also closed, etc.

I think I’m coping relatively well. There are obviously ups and downs, but at the end of the day, I try to take time for myself each day to just relax, whether that be reading, watching Netflix, FaceTiming friends and family, or doing yoga, I spend at least a few minutes each day doing something to ground myself. Sometimes, if the weather is nice, I take a walk outside. I also try to hang out with friends, so I don’t feel as isolated from home. Personally, I enjoy being on campus, because I feel like it keeps me on track school-wise a bit more than if I was at home.

My favorite things about being here are getting to meet new people and getting as much of a traditional feel of college as possible. I also enjoy exploring the city and thinking of which hikes I’ll do in the future and possible road trips I’ll take across Washington.

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