Freshmen reflect on moving out of the dorms

Serena Bettis

As cities and states across the country extend stay-at-home orders, one question remains when checking up on friends: Where are you staying? 

Colorado State University sent an email to all campus residents March 17 asking them to not return to campus immediately and, if possible, to move out of the dorms. 

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For some CSU freshmen, home is just a short move across Fort Collins or the state; for others, it’s several hours across the United States or even in a different country. 

Tesfalem Tsige, a freshman construction management major, moved from Summit Hall back home to Greeley, Colorado, during spring break. He said he is happy he can spend more time with his family, but he misses connecting with his friends in person. 

“It is a shame that we didn’t get to spend a full year in the dorms together,” freshman art major Sabrina Moskoe wrote in an email to The Collegian. “It almost seems like our time as a freshman has been cut short. In this sense, everything kind of feels strange.”

Moskoe wrote that although she will miss living on campus she feels safe and comfortable at home. 

“At first, my family wanted me to stay at the dorms, but it didn’t make sense for me to stay; the area where my family lives now was/is much less dangerous than Colorado,” Moskoe wrote. 

It’s really hard to stay on track and do work at a specific time because we have a lot of distractions.” -Naveenam Asok, freshman computer engineering major

Naveenam Asok, a freshman computer engineering major, was not able to move back home because his parents live in India. Instead, he now lives with a family friend in Texas. He said that he chose to not stay in the dorms due to his fears of the coronavirus.

“My parents are really scared; the U.S. is at the center of the coronavirus pandemic, and also it’s scary for me because India has a lockdown of 21 days,” Asok said. “It’s been very not motivating.”

Along with unexpected changes to living situations, CSU students still have classes to finish. 

Both Tsige and Asok said that being away from campus is hurting their motivation and productivity. Worrying about family or wanting to spend more time with them adds to the distractions that come with self-structured learning. 

“It’s really hard to stay on track and do work at a specific time because we have a lot of distractions,” Asok said. “Because you’re not going to the class physically, that’s always the biggest motivation factor, so it’s been hard.”

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Moskoe, however, is finding certain aspects of online classes easier than when she lived on campus. 

“I would say that in some aspects, it is actually easier; I can spread out which lectures I tune in to,” Moskoe wrote. “This makes everything less stressful for me. On campus, I also found that there was a lot to do (a blessing and a curse), and I often found myself wanting to join new clubs/activities/events that I just did not always have the time for.”

According to the University housing website, students have until May 16 to collect their belongings from their dorms. Move-out times are staggered to promote social distancing, and all residents remaining on campus will stay in single rooms in Corbett and Parmelee halls. 

Asok, Moskoe and Tsige all said they most miss meeting new people and socializing with friends. 

“Friends, … they’re the ones who motivate you to stay on track,” Asok said. “They help you do your class work, and they also make you happy, and you can socialize.”

Serena Bettis can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @serenaroseb.