Life on Campus: Embracing the Change

When announcing the decision to transition to online learning fully, PCC strongly encouraged students to finish the spring semester from home. However, impeded by travel restrictions or unsafe conditions from prevalent COVID-19 cases in their hometown, a small student population has remained. PCC has been understanding with those students who were unable to return home and has continued to prioritize their safety.

Campus, while still active as an essential service provider, has grown much quieter. Increased social distancing efforts have resulted in redistributed residence hall room assignments to allow for only two occupants per room, and a take-out box option has been added for all meals at the dining halls. Work departments throughout campus also adjusted to allow for increased social distancing policies, asking any who can to work remotely and redistributing work students to lessen in-person interactions. The Commons, usually full of excited students ready to relax after a long day, now sits mostly empty, save for some sporadic pairs of friends studying together while practicing social distancing.

SarahHarder

Because her hometown neighbors New York City, traveling home wasn’t a safe option for Sarah Harder (Sr., NY), so she has remained on campus. “I’m very thankful for the leaders at PCC and their consideration for the student body, especially the graduating seniors. I know they worked day and night to make this transition as smooth as possible, and they have definitely put the students first,” she said.

Sarah has enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere on campus, a welcome contrast as finals are around the corner. “It’s kind of a mix of the PCC summer vibes and homeschooling,” she said. “After classes are done, and I’ve gone to work, I have plenty of time to work on projects. Life is slower and not as stressful. Especially with the beautiful weather, everyone wants to be outside after doing classes and working.”

ChrisMontgomery

After adjusting to taking classes online, Chris Montgomery (Sr., TN), who is studying pastoral ministries, found a problem few thought they would ever have—remembering to take breaks between classes. “You just want to get it all done at once and then realize you haven’t moved for hours,” he said. “I have to force myself to take breaks or else I’ll just stare at my screen for hours.”

CamdenJones

Studio art student Camden Jones (IN) was one of many who had yet to hold their senior art show, a capstone project, before the transition to online learning. Although he wasn’t able to hold his show with the traditional public gallery opening, his friends and family across the country enjoyed his art pieces through a live Instagram video. “Honestly, my art show has turned out to be everything that I had hoped, just in a different way than I expected,” Camden said. “God has really taught me a lot about what it means to place my expectations in Him rather than things that are out of my control.”

AnnaSchultz

Because her parents are currently serving as missionaries overseas, deciding whether to go or stay came easily for Anna Schultz (So., IL). With her parents’ country being quarantined, it would have been extremely difficult for her to join them. “I was told that happiness is a choice, and though it may not be easy, the better your attitude is, the better life will seem,” she said. “When I feel like complaining about my current situation, I thank God for it instead, and try to find something good that will come out of all this. It’s hard to be discontent when you count your blessings.”

As a mechanical engineering student, Anna misses the hands-on approach of her courses, but she and her classmates have found another way to try to preserve that. “My engineering classes include a lot of math, so that usually means a ton of interaction as my teacher asks for us to find answers, and corrects us if he knows we’re doing something in the process wrong,” she explained. “What my class has done, and what I highly recommend, is we made a group chat where we can ask questions, and if someone understood what everyone else didn’t, they can share that information for the benefit of the entire class.”

Trista Allen

As an extrovert on an emptier campus, Trista Allen (Jr., NC) is finding comfort through the Digital Chapel messages on Eagle’s Nest, and of course, by staying in touch with friends through a maintained group chat. “I personally enjoyed having the short time of refreshment that came with chapel, and I’m glad they are offering us this option now so we can continue to have that time of spiritual refreshment that we all need! It unifies us as a body of believers, and I really appreciate it!” she said. “This is definitely a frustrating experience none of us were able to foresee. God keeps reminding me through this that He has a bigger plan way beyond what we can imagine! He has taught me to be more thankful during this time instead of complaining about what’s going on in the world. God is still in control!”

With so much change in so little time, these students are glad they can maintain their coursework safely on campus throughout the transition to online learning. “My teachers have done a great job with the transition! They are on top of everything and reply very quickly to any concerns that I have. They have definitely made this easier!” said Chris Montgomery.

Published4/24/2020

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