• Gravity Magazine

New Year, New Challenges

It’s a new year, which means students are returning back to campus and settling in for a fresh semester with some very drastic changes. We asked a few ‘Canes about their hopes, fears, and thoughts regarding this unique Spring Semester. While all students that were interviewed are returning to campus, there were none that were returning without concerns.

Savanna Neb, Marine Conservation Graduate Student explains that while she is returning to campus, she fears that Spring Break being replaced by Wellness Wednesdays will be a detriment to students’ mental health.

“I truly think it’s ridiculous that they replaced Spring Break with two Wellness Wednesdays,” Neb begins, “We are expected to go to school for four months straight, during a pandemic, with no actual breaks? Are you kidding? Two Wednesday’s off isn’t going to do much for our mental health.”

Evidently, other students agree like sophomores Grace Altidor and Dahlia Mason, both Health Science Majors. But, more surprisingly, a lot of others disagreed like freshman Daniel Toll and sophomores Chase Moed, Public Health Major and Alex Walch, Spanish and International Studies Double Major. They all agreed it was a smart move to keep infection rates down. While 85% of the students that were interviewed are returning to campus, 100% of the students miss the ambience that the Coral Gables campus provides their students.

“I miss the events on campus and socializing with friends,” said Mason. “I love looking forward to a movie showing, or an HP productions event. Talking to friends over text/social media/Zoom is not having in person interactions.”

Due to the pandemic, students have not been able to participate in normal activities, such as going to the full market or sitting outside with your friends on the gliders. Most also agreed that the production of the COVID-19 vaccine was a saving grace.

“As soon as the vaccine is available to me, I am going to get it,” said Toll, Broadcast Journalism Major. “For the past year, it’s been really worrisome going anywhere and being around my family, so having the peace of mind that I am vaccinated and safe from the virus will be really reassuring.”

As phases continue to roll out, it’s apparent that students will hop on the vaccine bandwagon. Safe to say this new year has brought a lot of different challenges, but once again, students at the University of Miami and all around the world are finding ways to cope, thrive, and succeed in this new semester.

Prioritize your psyche folks,


REPORTER: Naima Shotonwa

CONTRIBUTIONS BY: Julian Crosby, Jayda Graham, Katya Gutierrez, and Gabi Socarras

THE CITY, Gravity Magazine, 2021.

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