Day in the Life of a SLUdent

An inside look into students’ lives during a pandemic

On Mar. 13, 2020, students learned that Saint Louis University would be closed for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Two months into the pandemic, SLU was eager and arranged for students to safely return for the fall 2020 semester. Since the beginning of the fall semester, students were given the option to pick the class format they wanted to be taught in, either in-person flex, in-person only, A-B days or fully-online. The fall 2020 semester went into full force, and administrators were again beginning to make plans for spring 2021. Now almost a month into the spring semester, let’s take a glimpse into what life is like for a SLU student during a pandemic.

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Porter

For many students deciding to come back to campus, choosing in-person flex, in-person only, A-B days or to be fully online is a difficult decision. Students who have chosen to come back to campus and learn in class have a bit of the same routine; waking up, eating breakfast, getting ready for their day and going off to class. Rubina Thomas, a sophomore studying investigative and medical sciences, lives in an off-campus apartment and has chosen hybrid learning. Hybrid learning is where classes will be taught online and in-person. Thomas says that coming back to school during a pandemic was much needed. She states, “I do not think I would be able to focus as well at home. However, of course, it is frustrating because you do feel tempted to do stuff with your friends and know you can’t.” Let’s take a look into Thomas’s typical morning routine: “I wake up at 9:15. After doing my morning routine and getting ready, I go into my kitchen and get some breakfast. I go to my 10 a.m., which is music theory in Xavier Hall. Afterward, I go to the library and do some work for my other classes, sometimes if I was unable to make breakfast at my apartment, then I may get some Einstein’s or Starbies. Then I attend my orgo lecture class at 1:10 online at the library. Do some more work at the library until 4ish. Afterward, I go back to my apartment, eat, watch tv. I may go to the gym, hang out with some friends, study some more. Every other week, I have a club meeting at 6 p.m. And then, usually, I go to bed around midnight.” While dining options are available on campus, she prefers to eat in her apartment. After her day, Thomas likes to study in her apartment. When it is warm out, her go-to study spot is behind the Cupples House. During the winter, if she can’t focus in her apartment, she prefers to study in the library. Thomas feels good about her classes. She states, “It could be worse.” Along with her studies, she is a member of SLU Omkara, Greek Life, Unmasked, Indian Student Association, AED and Camp Kesem. All meetings are held virtually, except for her dance practices, which are held in person for two hours, three days a week at Simon Recreation Center. Thomas states that while living off-campus it is hard to motivate herself to get out of the apartment. However, she loves independence and is grateful to have a kitchen. She cannot imagine having to eat at Grand Dining hall every day. 

Grand Hall in the days leading up to Mardi Gras weekend. (Photo Courtesy of Andrea Porter)

Many students want to be back on campus but prefer to learn remotely to limit exposure. Student Angelina White, a junior studying studio art, states that coming back to campus during a pandemic is not quite what people had hoped for, but she is glad to be here. White lives on campus but prefers to do remote learning to limit her exposure. On a typical Monday, Whites’ day consists of waking up around 8 a.m., an hour before her class starts, and continues her learning until her last class, which ends at 11:50 a.m. With being close to lunchtime, she prefers to make herself a meal and eat in her apartment. While being a remote student, White likes to study in her apartment. She states, “I like to move around when I study, so I enjoy being able to spend a few hours in the living room or switching off to spend some time in my bedroom. Or if the weather is pleasant, I like to sit on the balcony.” She is doing well with her online classes and hopes that the filler classes will still be available online for years to come. Even though White is a remote student, she continues to be involved in clubs and organizations. She is a part of the Track and Field team, Rainbow Alliance and OneWorld magazine. These meetings are virtual, but she is still able to see all the members in one setting! White states that living on campus in her apartment is decent, and she typically thrives at the university, but is now wanting to survive. 

Photo Courtesy of Andrea Porter

Aseya Siddiqua, a freshman studying Neuroscience on the Pre-Med track, lives at home and has chosen to take her class online. Siddiqua states, “I honestly am having a very hard time trying to adjust though it is my second semester. The workload and system are much, much different than high school.” She gave me a glimpse into her average Monday schedule: “Since my first class on Monday is at noon, I wake up around 10 a.m. to get ready. I am a remote learner, which means I do not have to account for the time to walk to my classes. It is all at my desk. I have Biology from noon to 12:50 p.m. And then right after, at 1:10 p.m, I have Urban Crisis, which ends at 2 p.m. I have recently gotten into Blueprint for Student Success and that starts at 3 p.m. After that ends at 4 p.m., I take a break, evening prayer at 6 p.m., and get back to studying around 7 p.m. I will first finish off any homework or assignment I might have due. And then work on my asynchronous Calculus class. I watch the lecture, take notes and look at the homework for a bit. After that, I prepare for my chemistry class that I have the next day and end the day with a bit of review for Biology.” Siddiqua prefers to study in her room because she feels comfortable there. With being fully-online and at home, she says that some of her classes are hard. Even though she is a second-semester freshman student, she has gotten involved in numerous clubs and organizations! She is a part of BALANCE, Her Campus and OneWorld. These meetings are all online and have been since coming back to campus. Siddiqua states, now it feels normal in regards to meeting virtually for her clubs/organizations. She also says, “doing it remotely I am completely isolated from my peers, sometimes it feels like I am all alone in this. However, it is not all bad. I have gotten help from different people, made some new friends, and learned a lot. So, I am just trying to balance it out and see where it takes me.” Siddiqua states that even though there are some downsides with doing school remotely, it is nice living and learning remotely because she has the freedom of her own space. She does not have to worry about socialization in the hallways or other areas on campus.