As we begin this year virtually and spread across the globe, we at the Foghorn would like to share how the cities we’re each tuning in from are responding to the pandemic, along with advice for freshmen greeting their first semester of college online.
Katherine Na, Editor in Chief
This semester, I’ll be operating from the Inner Richmond neighborhood in San Francisco — I’m actually so close to campus that it feels like I never left. Residents of the Inner Richmond have been responding to the pandemic relatively responsibly, but lately I’ve been noticing a lot of maskless faces.
My biggest piece of advice: educate yourself on on-campus issues. Students, faculty, and members of administration have been working tirelessly to organize and support each other, and there are so many important ongoing issues that involve the entire community. Let’s show up for each other, even from afar.
Haley Keizur, Managing Editor
This semester, I’m tuning in from my hometown of Puyallup, Washington, a small town south of Seattle. The entire state is mandated to wear masks, and while my small town has overall been a little less complicit with the rules, especially in the beginning, now that you can’t grocery shop without wearing a mask, everyone complies.
There will be a lot of learning and growing this semester. Treat this like a normal semester as much as you can. Do your best to reach out to new people, as it’s easy to feel isolated. Make the most of this semester so you can fondly remember this time.
Julian E.J. Sorapuru, News Editor
I’ll be taking my classes from my hometown of New Orleans. Most things have reopened around here, and since it’s a social city, there’s a lot of hanging out outside without masks in decent-sized groups.
Don’t let this remote semester stop you from growing. If you were looking forward to more independence, you can still go out of your way to make your own food or do your own laundry. Get involved “on campus” so that when we come back, you have communities to support you.
James Salazar, Sports Editor
I’m spending the semester at home in Houston. We had a light stay-at-home order, then a loose lockdown, and before you knew it, everything reopened. Lately, there’s an even split between those who stay home and those who gallivant around the city like nothing is wrong.
Take things slow. Get involved with organizations, make new friends, and connect with professors. Whether self-care to you means watching your favorite show or doing a face mask, give yourself time to recharge often.
Mardy Harding, Scene Editor
I’m coming to you from Seattle, Washington and Longmont, Colorado this semester. Although Washington state hasn’t seen a second spike like some states, our leaders have been slow to ease restrictions. In general, everyone is masked, and we’ve had nice weather.
Be the boldest you’ve ever been. This is the time to become responsive, proactive, communicative, and open-minded. If a classmate mentions an interest you share, message them! If your professor mentions research that sparks your curiosity, go to office hours and chat! Be curious about others’ experiences.
Clara Snoyer, Opinion Editor
I’ll be tuning in this semester from my hometown of Dallas. Despite cases being on the rise, most businesses are packed. Mask wearing is required, but I’ve found many people just treat a mask as an accessory or can’t seem to learn how to wear one correctly.
My freshman year was cut short by the pandemic, so I can attest to how disappointing it is. You’ll always have a home at USF. I began to build relationships here once I decided to feel radically a part of my new community.
Ethan Tan, Copy Editor
I’m streaming the Foghorn this semester from San Gabriel, California, which is located in the Los Angeles area by Pasadena. Our main concerns down here in San Gabriel are the people in Downtown Los Angeles who can’t control themselves socially and the COVID-deniers in Orange County.
Go to office hours because professors are not only the key to climbing the academic ladder at USF, but are also really cool people who love their students. Also, all of your important notifications are sent via email, like info on upcoming events, class updates, and messages from the organizations you’ve gotten involved in. College is a new beginning, so take advantage of it.
Eran Young, Online Editor
I’ll be tuning in to classes from Los Angeles. It’s been pretty chaotic over here what with all the protests and the pandemic and all but luckily where I live people have been obeying the stay-at-home orders and wearing masks pretty diligently.
You’ll get as much out of it as you put into it. There will be a lot of moments where you feel disconnected or even bored studying from home, but take advantage of being able to learn from the comfort of a familiar environment.
Coco Romano Giordano, Photo Editor
I will be splitting this semester between San Francisco and my home in Hawai’i, where I’ve been since March. Thankfully, because the island I live on is semi-sparsely populated, the number of COVID-19 cases has remained fairly low, although that is not the case everywhere in the state. People coming here for “vacation” has caused many travel protocols to be put in place like a mandatory quarantine for anyone entering the state or making inter-island travel. Overall, my community has been good about wearing masks, using hand sanitizer often, etc.
Prioritize your mental health! Managing the workload of school (and jobs for some) can be overwhelming in the first place, not to mention the added stress of learning to work through online courses. From personal experience, it can be really easy to lose motivation when you are not physically going to class every day and have no one but yourself to keep you accountable for doing your work. Do your best, try to maintain the healthiest routine you can, and don’t forget to take time for yourself!