MISHAWAKA--Students across the nation are struggling to find a new normal as the pandemic has forced colleges and universities to shut down their campuses. Freshman Tarryn Williams shared that she has mixed feelings about being off-campus currently and misses many factors of being able to live on Bethel’s campus.
“I love, but hate, being away from campus,” Williams said. “I miss my friends and our shenanigans… I can’t wait to go back to school.”
But some students have been unable to return home; international students Alfonso Flores and Felipe Mendes continue to live on campus.
Flores, a junior, is currently unable to fly home because his country is closed.
“I am from Venezuela and there are no flights right now,” Flores said. “My country closed the borders because of the virus.”
Mendes, a senior from Brazil, is waiting for official decisions to be made regarding his future in soccer.
“I’m waiting for an answer of playing over the summer for a soccer team in South Bend,” Mendes said.
Many of the students still residing on-campus are patiently waiting for their ticket home, while students off-campus are eager to move back to campus next semester and get back into regular school schedules.
During their time on campus, both Mendes and Flores have made different decisions about how to spend their time outside of schoolwork.
Flores is still finding ways to enjoy his time at Bethel, and compliments those who are striving to make his experience better while living on campus.
“The environment is actually pretty good,” Flores said. “The resident directors and the RAs have done a great job, we still get to do some activities at the Acorn, like playing games, watching movies and they even organized an Easter services for those who were still on campus.”
Mendes also describes the atmosphere as good and encouraging.
“The atmosphere is normal,” Mendes said. “There are a few people here and we usually help each other out. But, I kind of like to be by myself. I have the freedom of realizing we are not alone in this pandemic crisis.”
Both students shared some words of wisdom for other Bethel students.
“This is something very serious and it all depends on how we approach this situation,” Flores said. “Staying inside is the best we can do,”
“I just want to let others know that at this time they have to trust in God more because He is the answer to all of this,” Mendes said. “Without His presence, guidance, and love we couldn’t be living out life the way we do.”
Both students are content with the work that Bethel has put into on-campus living and they respect the decisions that are being made.