Class of 2024: What It’s Like to Start College During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Members of the Class of 2024 are facing some unique obstacles. After finishing their senior year of high school in quarantine, they’re now transitioning into college at a time where things like online classes and social events are looking a bit different.

First year students shared some concerns, and how they’re navigating campus life, as they enter their third week of college.

“Freshman year is not how I expected it to be because of COVID-19, but Monmouth University helped in putting the students’ safety first and made it possible for me to stay on campus and in my dorm,” said Clinical Lab Sciences student Faith Guerron.

 “It’s been a bit tough to balance working and school again,” shared Kayla Gillespie, a freshman English student.

For students who encounter the common struggle of balancing multiple responsibilities, Director of Tutoring Services Dorothy Cleary recommends reaching out to the University’s many services designed to promote student success.

“As we know that the transition from high school to college can be stressful under ‘normal’ circumstances, I think it’s important for first year students to realize is that there are many resources on campus that can offer support and they should make sure they are familiar with them and how to access those resources,” said Cleary. “Speaking with that student’s first year advisor is a great place to start, and also speaking with your Peer Transition Assistant (PTA).”

The Center for Student Success, which includes First-Year Advising, Academic Advising, Tutoring Services, Writing Services, Supplemental Instruction, and more, is offering academic support to all students.

Additionally, the Office of Student Activities encourages students to download the “Experience Monmouth” app to keep informed about upcoming events, both virtual and in-person.

“Although the pandemic has seemed to change regular circumstances, you can still utilize a surplus of resources on campus to make life easier,” added Adriana Zefutie, a freshman psychology student. “From clubs to events posted on the apps, Monmouth is creating a great environment for students to flourish in during their first year.”

Many first year students may also be unsure what to expect, but taking each year one step at a time can alleviate heavy workloads and facilitate a successful college experience.

“Students need to try and make sure they get enough sleep, eat responsibly, communicate with others, and realize that college is a marathon, not a sprint. Get involved, stay organized, and give yourself a chance to experience many things and realize that help is available as needed,” said Cleary.

First year students remain optimistic, making the best out of an atypical situation.

Guerron said, “I met a lot of people from so many different places and formed a bond with some of them. I’m grateful for having the opportunity to have in-person classes and I can’t wait for more wonderful memories/experiences.”

Whether they’re sitting at desks six feet apart or turning on their webcams and logging into Zoom, the Class of 2024 have a lot to look forward to over the next four years at Monmouth University.


PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University