First-year students adjust to living away from home during COVID-19



TCU welcomed students home amid the pandemic. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)

By Raines Nagel

COVID-19 has changed what college looks like for first-year students transitioning to life away from home.

First-years said there are positives and negatives of their first-year experience at TCU amid the pandemic.

Brett Hayes Miketinac, a first-year pre-business major from Arizona, said the most difficult part about living on campus is not being able to meet new people as easily as he imagined because of COVID-19.

“TCU has been really helpful because I know that I’m supported and feel safe where I am. TCU has been doing well dealing with COVID-19 overall,” said Miketinac.

Read more: How COVID-19 is affecting TCU: A collection by TCU 360

Christopher Vasti, a first-year pre-business major from Illinois, said he believes that his ideal first-year experience has been compromised because of the pandemic. 

“I have always thought of my first semester of college as seeing everyone meeting each other in the commons as students set up booths to represent their clubs, along with kids running around playing sports, having fun, smiling and laughing. TCU has been doing a great job given the circumstances, but I do wish my freshman experience was ‘normal’ like the others,” Vasti said.

Regardless, Vasti said he is making the best out of the situation.

“College has been amazing so far and I’ve really made myself at home. TCU has done a great job making college an enjoyable experience because these years are supposed to be the best years of our lives,” Vasti said.

Foster Hall
Foster Hall is one of the dorms designated for first-year students. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)

Kendall McCarthy, a first-year strategic communication and French double major, said the benefits of living on campus this semester outweigh the costs, despite COVID-19 restrictions.

“I think that in some ways COVID-19 has taken away from my first-year experiences as far as classes go, but I don’t really know anything else as far as the overall college experience,” McCarthy said. “This is my first time experiencing college, so it’s all fine by me. I’m just happy to be here.”

Miketinac, Vasti and McCarthy all agreed they are happy where they are, regardless of the challenges they have experienced living on campus during COVID-19. All three students said they plan on returning to campus for the spring semester.