The coronavirus global pandemic presented many challenges during the fall semester, but it taught me many things about myself, including how to manage my schoolwork, the economic impact of the pandemic, and the importance of my support network at the University.
At that time, I took my first COVID-19 test in preparation for the upcoming fall semester and tried my best to acclimate to our new normal. Navigating hybrid courses, working from home, and being president of a student organization all at the same time was hard to manage at first, but I quickly learned the importance of resilience.
After realizing things would not be “normal” for a long time, I had to get creative. I learned I am more productive when I do not stay in the same location – like the desk in my bedroom – all day. So, I finished assignments at the dining room table and logged into classes on Zoom from my porch. I also learned not to take being on campus for granted, and I traveled to school as often as I could to study and catch up on work.
I learned how COVID-19 guidelines drastically affected event planning, so I facilitated a brainstorming process with the members of my student organization, the Honors Student Council. We tried to find ways to creatively engage the campus community. Our organization hosted a Halloween Treasure Hunt for the students on campus to safely celebrate Halloween this year. The three teams that completed the most quests received Halloween-themed gift basket prizes.
We also hosted a virtual “Honors Student Panel” where we invited three Honors students to serve as panelists and offer advice on how to succeed at our University. I learned about the importance of diversity and inclusion within an organization.
I took action with my friend Mikey Calabrese ’21 to spearhead a student subcommittee for the Pompea College of Business’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Board. We are building a team of students to sit on this committee and to create DEI initiatives for the Pompea College of Business that specifically advance the education of our students and faculty and enhance the accessibility of our campus and technology.
I learned more about the pandemic from an economics perspective. This semester, I participated in research for our Connecticut Economic Activity Report, facilitating a study with seven experts to assess Connecticut’s economic performance during the pandemic.
Most importantly, I learned that I was not perfect. There were days – weeks even – when I did not feel like myself. My workload can be overwhelming, and my home can feel confining, making it hard to keep up with my responsibilities. The empathy of my professors and managers at the University of New Haven, though, has certainly helped guide me through a lot of bumps on my journey to success.
Hannah Providence ’22 is an economics major at the University of New Haven.