Altered lives: Freedom, privacy take hit with move home

The dorms halls are relatively empty on campus. / VN photo by SOPHIE TORCELLO



The coronavirus pandemic has drastically altered the lives of Detroit Mercy students, forcing all classes to be taught online.

For students who haven’t taken an online class before, this can be quite the challenge.

Nicole Jandreski is a 19-year-old sophomore.

“Online classes are okay, but since I’m at home I feel like I am procrastinating more,” she said. “I am in a home environment and not a school environment.”

Though campus housing will remain open, students have been  encouraged to return to their permanent residences.

This was a shock for freshman Kara Wolfbauer.

The 18-year old found it tough to move out so quickly.

“It was very upsetting for me to move out early,” said Wolfbauer. “I love living in Shiple Hall with all my friends. Not being able to say goodbye was heartbreaking.”

Other students shared similar emotions.

Ben Westphal, 22, will be graduating in December.

“I feel terrible about this,” said Westphal. “As I was moving my stuff out, I had to keep telling myself that this was probably the last time I will step foot in a place where I had lived for the past three years. It just seemed like everything was taken from us in the blink of an eye.”

Moving day for a full winter semester is usually around April 25.

Under normal circumstances, students have time to mentally prepare and adjust to moving home with family.

However, this was not the case given the sudden flu-related orders.

Nineteen-year-old sophomore Claire Barton has had a difficult time adjusting.

“Living at home is tiring because you have to do whatever your family expects as well as school work,” said Barton. “It took a bit to adjust from the freedom of living at school and being independent to having to report to family.”

Others are concerned about the virus, among them Brett McGue, a 20-year-old sophomore.

“The most difficult thing about moving home is the constant fear of contaminating the house,” he said. “If someone leaves and comes back, they have to wash their hands and disinfect any surface they touch.”

To lower the risk of contamination, people are asked to practice self-isolation by staying in their homes during the pandemic.

Many self-isolating students find themselves bored.

“I’ve been self-isolating but not on purpose,” said McGue. “I’ve been trying to get people to hang out but with my family and their family being cautious I guess I’ll have to stick to FaceTime and text for the meantime.”

Each student is affected differently by what has happened.

“My life with work has changed since I work in a hospital,” said Nicole Jandreski. “The way the hospital is running is completely different than before, but it also affects my family since they are afraid that I’m going to bring the virus home with me.”

For Wolfbauer, life as a student-athlete has evolved.

“My life has changed so much due to the virus,” Wolfbauer said. “We (had) been traveling for softball and getting up at 4 a.m. for practices. Softball just came to a complete stop when the virus hit.”