Getting Ready to Start Grad School in a Pandemic

As you all may know, I’m going to be online for the first two weeks of grad school, and my move-in date was pushed back a week due to the pandemic. I haven’t received any emails on the new move-in schedule, so I honestly don’t know what’s going on.

Last week, I looked on Facebook and saw Norfolk State University post about the changes. At first, I didn’t think anything about the post. I assumed something happened at the institution, and that’s why the delay happened.

Photo Credited by Norfolk State University

Then I noticed there wasn’t an email sent out. I wasn’t the only one who noticed. The week was filled with students, parents and alumni who were questioning why NSU didn’t send an email out to the students before posting on social media.

According to NSU, they sent out an email at 5 p.m., but almost no one received the email.

I kind of know why. Hear me out, yes, some institutions are very inconsiderate with people’s time. The update was late from students’ original move-in date in the coming week to the first week in September. The emails, however, were late due to the large number of people receiving the letter.

For example, when I was interning for Volunteers of America we would send out a Friday Bulletin at 11 a.m. The email was scheduled at 11 a.m., but some of us would receive the email at 2 p.m.

Volunteers of America has over 10,000 employees working so it would make sense for the email to take longer than usual to get to everyone.

I believe that’s what happened with NSU. I believe they did send it out at 5 p.m., and only a few people got it while everyone else received the email around 8-11 p.m.

Since I’m new to NSU, I’m still learning about the campus community. I learned that it doesn’t matter what institution you apply for, they all have their ups and downs. The students were going IN on Twitter about the delay being posted on social media before the email was sent. Some of them made valid points. For example, the late delay caused most out-of-state students to reschedule flights and hotels.

I used to be an out-of-state student, so I know how frustrating it is to receive late information. Plus, we are in the middle of a pandemic with a lot of uncertainties.

I mean, UNC-Chapel Hill just went fully online when they found out that 130 students tested positive for COVID-19. Then UNC-Pembroke isn’t enforcing the rules and guidelines for all students to not be in large gatherings, wearing a mask and standing six feet apart.

I’ve seen some of my fellow peers continue to express their concerns about the situation, and it made me wonder how NSU was going to handle situations like these.

We received another email about attending the Town Hall meeting to ask the President about opening the campus and COVID-19 related questions. I took that time to ask them, how they plan to enforce those regulations. The answer I received is that if the student didn’t follow those guidelines, they would be directed to the student code of conduct.

I’ve contacted some of my older faculty and staff from UNCP for some advice because I want to have a great first year in grad school, but it doesn’t have the full feeling with the pandemic going on.

It’s still a blessing to make it this far. I’ll make sure to write about my experience in orientation this year on my next blog.

I just got out of three meetings today. I can’t write anymore.

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