One Great Thing About Living Away (Even During a Pandemic)

Sunset at Rowan with stark red sky against black silouette of buildings and trees.

Today we asked eight students what they like about living on campus even though we are in a pandemic. Between the restrictions and the difficulties that have come with COVID-19, these students have found good things about their current living situations.

Jaylen wears a Red hoodie, staring straight ahead at the camera.

“The atmosphere. Your mind is in the school mindset. It would be harder to do homework in your room, because at home your mind thinks you’re at home and resting. But being here you see the buildings, the professors, the students and you still think it’s school first and relax later,” says Jaylen Shanklin, a sophomore Communications Studies major from South Harrison, NJ (Gloucester County). 

Pharoah stands in front of the music building, holding his hands clasped in front of him.

“The moment in life we are in now, there’s people you don’t talk to every day but you can still hit up and you know what everybody’s doing. Everybody is all on their own path and I try to stay involved. I like to try to be at the gym and be involved in just about anything. Anything that goes to my Rowan email I try to be on anything that can help put myself out there because that’s really what it’s all about. We’re here to get our education but also network too. If you just are here to just be here you’re going to get bored or think ‘why am I here’. Because it’s school but so much more to get involved with to feel like not home. I try to stay involved in everything. I want to be in a fraternity. I want be a part of everything so I have no time to think about what’s going on at home,” says Pharoh Freer, freshman Music Industry major from Jamesburg, NJ (Middlesex County).

Miguel standing outside wearing a yellow Rowan cross country hoodie.

“I was a commuter last year so this is my first semester living on campus and it’s a lot easier now. I am part of the XC team so I had to stay for practice and I would be at Rowan for the whole day.  It is a lot nicer now because I have my friends to live with. It is nice to have people around so when I go through stuff so are they and we can bounce ideas and stay positive. They keep me in check,” says first-generation college student Miguel Vera, sophomore Biological Sciences major from Cedarville, NJ (Cumberland County).

Keyoni sits in greenery on campus, with her hand on her knee, hair cascading past her waist.

“I am so grateful that we were able to come back to campus. I would feel isolated if I was home. I still get to see my friends and my roommates every day and being around those people really makes up the college experience,” says first-generation college student Keyoni Collins, sophomore Biological Sciences major with a minor in pre-med from Bridgeton, NJ (Cumberland County).

Bredon sitting on engineering steps.

“It is not crowded and I get ride my bike freely and practice my no hands,” says sophomore Brandon Jerrett, who double majors in Chemical Engineering and Math from Woodbridge, NJ (Middlesex County).

Dario standing outside, smiling broadly while stuffing his hands in his jacket pocket.

“It is nice being on the XC team and hang with people on the team and do our own thing and being independent and being able to train together. Also the lines for the food are a lot better,” says sophomore Dario Epifania, an Accounting major from Kendall Park, NJ (Middlesex County).

Kaela sitting outside, with her hair cascading down to her waist.

“I am away from my parents and I can view the pandemic in a different way being by myself. When I am at home my parents are doing everything and making sure I am wearing my mask and stuff but when I am at school, I can explore it my own way. Being that we are in a pandemic I can still be on my own and out there and work on it myself instead of my mom being over top of me. I have to be the adult and take care of myself,” says sophomore Kaela Moore, a dual major in Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in sociology from Mount Laurel, NJ (Burlington County).

Brandan standing outside.

“Not as many people on campus and the lines for the food are a lot shorter,” says sophomore Marketing major Brandon Diaz from Kendall Park, NJ (Middlesex County).

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Story and photography by:  Stephanie Batista, sophomore Music Industry major

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