Jade Petrie Contributing Writer
UMF seniors have been hit hard by the decision to move all courses to online distance modalities for the remainder of the semester, in response to the spread of the Coronavirus. With campus closed and major spring semester activities and events cancelled, seniors are grieving over the loss of their final semester on campus and the sudden, unexpected departure from friends.
Three seniors, Keilly Lynch, Noah Nicholas and Suther Bickford, agreed to share their thoughts on the current situation and found many of their feelings to be similar. While they all seemed to be understanding of the situation, and knew that it was much larger than the University, “It is unfortunate and heart breaking, but at the end of the day I understand that health and safety always comes first,” Lynch said via email.
“I have been pretty upset about the situation overall. Having the senior year experience be cut short is very difficult,” Nicholas said through an interview over email. “[I’ve had to] say goodbye to close friends and relationships I’ve built at UMF, as well as staff members.”
Bickford shared similar sentiments via email, but noted the disappointment with learning news of the closure from alternative sources, before hearing from UMF administrators. “This situation has been rough. I was upset that I heard the news first from a news article on Facebook.”
“Originally, I thought it would mostly remain a major issue in places such as Italy and China,” said Nicholas. “I definitely did not think we would be in a National State of Emergency. I thought it would be similar to when the Swine flu was spreading several years ago.”
With sports seasons cancelled and Lynch being the one and only senior captain on the women’s lacrosse team, she looked at this situation with two different perspectives. “My first reaction was frustration. I was happy to hear the news that my season was cancelled from my coach, as opposed to another news source. However, it was definitely abrupt and unexpected”
All sports teams were fortunate enough to hear the news directly from their coach, directly following a meeting all coaches attended to get the new information regarding their season and how it will not be finished. “I began reflecting on how fortunate I was to have the opportunity to play lacrosse at the collegiate level. Many athletes finish their sports careers at the end of high school, so I was extremely lucky to have an extra three full seasons of lacrosse at UMF,” Lynch said. Even though Lynch’s season was cut short she was thankful for the time she had and the friendships she made. This sentiment was shared amongst the others as well.