COVID-19: The Hilltop Perspective

In the Spring of 2020 students at St. Edward’s University faced unprecedented circumstances as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe. These are their stories.

Katherine Tedmon-Bury (Senior – Global Studies)

“I’ve been equipped with the skills and lessons from the past four years that I will need to move forward.”

Ted McKenna (Junior – Creative Writing)

“After the festival was cancelled, I was just going to focus on catching up on schoolwork until classes started up again, but the Friday of spring break, I got a call from my parents. They said that they were flying me home to Philadelphia the next morning, so I had about twelve hours to pack as much stuff as I could before going home.”

Anonymous (Junior – Graphic Design)

“One of my coworkers, who works an opposite shift from me, had gotten sick.”

Kaitlin Billiot (Junior – Writing and Rhetoric)

“I appreciate teachers who have been kind, concerned, and lenient.”

Christopher Kunin (Junior – Journalism)

“I see a lot of anger out there, I think we are more divided than ever and that is something that I wish this virus could help us to overcome.”

Anonymous (Junior – Photography)

“I have driven around to take pictures for my photography class. It is so strange to see how deserted everything is.”

Justin Canty (Senior – Political Science)

“My parents are in high risk categories so I have had to completely quarantine with them.”

Anonymous (Junior – Writing and Rhetoric)

“I did not have enough funds to find an off campus apartment and my job requires me to go in everyday.”

Anonymous (Senior – Communications)

“I couldn’t find flour for Ramadan at any of the stores.”

Anonymous (Junior – Spanish)

“I was supposed to go to Pennsylvania and New York with the St Ed’s ballet Folklorico…”

Samantha Cienfuegos (Junior – Writing and Rhetoric)

“I’d also like to note how important it is right now to be kind and patient. This is an incredibly stressful and uncertain time. The least we can do is support one another.”

Felix Kimbrell (Junior – Communications)

“If there was ever a reason to try and figure out what you really want to do or involve yourself in, it’s now.”

Connor Schee (Senior – Communications)

“I believe the communication faculty for this school always have the students in mind, and the transition was as smooth as it could be.”

Anonymous (Senior – Spanish)

“I am not staying in.  I talk to people about the rent strike & defending each other against evictions…”

Anonymous (Junior – Communications)

“As much as I don’t like school sometimes, being on campus was fun.”

Brittney Caballero (Senior – Digital Media Management)

“Having to stay inside all the time has made living with my family that much harder.”

Anonymous (Senior – Acting)

“I have moved 2 times since being told I could no longer live on campus.”

Anonymous (Senior – Communications)

“Like a lot of moms, I have not had the luxury to solely focus on my kids’ online learning and home management.”

Anonymous (Junior – Psychology)

“I really hope we will be able to be back on campus this Fall.”

Isabella Harris (Freshman – Writing and Rhetoric)

“I have been reading and baking a lot, as well as writing letters to my friends and streaming Netflix, and basically being a cottage woman.”

Anonymous (Senior – Writing and Rhetoric)

“Since everyone is home, I get to see them more often so I enjoy passing the time with them when I can.”

Veronica Cooklin (Junior – Sociology)

“While this is undeniably a very scary situation, I also like to see it as an opportunity for us all to acknowledge our collective humanity.”

Anonymous (Junior – Graphic Design)

“…I just bought a house and we’ve been going through the home buying process during this outbreak.”

Anonymous (Junior – Forensic Science)

“…I had two Zoom birthday parties I went to last week…”

Therese Pang (Senior – Criminology)

“I have leftover N95 masks from when the Camp Fire in California hit nearby cities and created a lot of smoke in the air, so my parents shipped some out to me.”

Anonymous (Senior – Writing and Rhetoric)

“Classes being ported online was going to be a challenge, but I preferred that to potentially being exposed to a dangerous virus at all times.”

Jake Salinas (Senior – Political Science)

“…I’ve been able to dedicate myself to my job more since we’ve been having to help people who are having issues filing for unemployment and other shake-ups to their life because of COVID-19.”

Cherese R. Perez (Senior – Forensic Science)

“Being at home gives me more time to do stuff, but it also gives me more time to be lazy and I don’t like that.”

Anonymous (Senior – Criminal Justice)

“While waiting in line, there was a man who asked us why we were wearing a mask. It seemed unreal that not many people were following the guidelines set in Dallas.”

Colleen Cawthon (Senior – History)

“The fact that we are attempting to do a virtual choir gives me joy that I am still able to make music…”

Elinor Hehir (Junior – Forensic Science)

“I have tried to make it better by doing online study sessions with friends so we are all accountable for our work…”

Nicco Pelicano (Junior – Writing and Rhetoric)

“I like to think that this time is an opportunity to tune back into inner child, and remember how it felt to be able to create in our rooms, and use time for whatever we feel like.”

Grace Bent (Sophomore – Communications)

“It’s strange to work from [my parents’ house] because I depended on the campus library for resources and a quiet space to work.”

Anonymous (Junior – Video Game Design)

“I think worrying about being late for class just doesn’t exist anymore…”

Ashley Spaeth (Junior – Kinesiology)

“Walmart has never been so popular…”

Anabel Marie Alvarez Perez (Sophomore – Communications)

“Before school went online I spent most of my day at the library. For me this was a quiet place to work without my room to distract me.”

Ellyzabeth Morales-Ledesma (Freshman – History)

“I’m not very worried about the virus itself and catching it, I’m more worried about how the world is going to change because of it.”

Jessica Guerriero (Junior – Catholic Studies)

“It’s easy to believe in salvation when everything is going right, but now is when your faith really matters.”

Marissa Sanchez (Senior – Social Work)

“The petition I started was successful and got well over 400 signatures and comments.”

Victoria Garcia (Junior – Criminal Justice)

“I even spray the Lysol spray all over me before walking in the house (it’s my new perfume).”

Lauren Wilson (Junior – Writing and Rhetoric)

“My professors have been flexible, understanding, and primarily focused on maintaining students’ well-being.”

Sarah Habeeb (Senior – History)

“We are also trying to make plans for the summer which helps us look forward and not focus too much on the issues with the virus.”

Anonymous (Senior – Writing and Rhetoric)

“I used hand sanitizer so much that my hands are always dry.”

Nitaya Park (Freshman – Psychology)

“It’s just really…tiresome not knowing what’s going to happen.”

Andi Utter (Senior – Environmental Science and Policy)

“I will be in Montana now. So, there’s a time change there. So, I’m going to basically have to wake up an hour earlier for all my classes.”

Hannah Jones (Freshman – Communications)

“…my brother was going to get married. That changed.”

Celine Cottenoir (Senior – Political Science)

“I didn’t realize how much I took for granted going to class…”

Sebastian Miro (Freshman – Psychology)

“I feel cheated, tired, and scared.”

Harper Brymer (Freshman – English Literature)

“My dad, he just got back from Panama, which is also nerve-wracking…”

Jhomar Cuevas (Sophomore – Kinesiology)

“As an out of state student I had left Boston to experience a different place and culture for me to be rushed back home made me sad but also angry because there is so much that I wanted to do in Austin.”

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