The Charger Blog

Hospitality Major Reflects on Starting College During COVID-19 Pandemic

As a first-year student at the University of New Haven, I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had to explore my passions and to find a sense of belonging in Charger Nation.

March 29, 2021

By Sadie Fraser-Read ’24

Sadie Fraser-Read and friends with charlie the charger.
Left to right: Sadie Fraser-Read '24, Julia Motchkavitz '24, and Emma Marks '24 with Charlie.

Starting my first year of college in the middle of a global pandemic was something I never would have expected, but I didn’t want that to ruin the start of the best years of my life. After the many disappointments and cancellations that came along with the shutdown of the country, I knew I needed to make the most of the start of my time at the University of New Haven.

Before choosing to major in hospitality and tourism management, I considered the possibility of studying TV/film production or theatre arts, two fields I am passionate about. One of the main reasons I chose to attend the University was because I knew I would still have the opportunity to be involved in these programs while pursuing my B.A. in Hospitality and Tourism Management and my MBA through the 3+1 accelerated program.

While my first semester was filled with many core classes, I have taken the spring semester as an opportunity to branch out and try some new things. This is a decision I am very grateful I made. When enrolling in “Fundamentals of Production 1” with Professor Wayne Edwards, I was looking forward to enjoying an elective that taught me the behind-the-scenes world of TV production.

From the very first class, I knew this would be one of my favorite courses, as I not only enjoyed the material, but I quickly got to know my peers who made me feel even more welcome in the University community. After our first day in the studio, some of us decided to attend the next filming for The Charger Bulletin News and afterward, I felt as though I was already part of the team.

‘You never know where you are going to find your community’

Enduring a semester of change and uncertainty wasn’t easy, and this was finally something that made me feel like part of the Charger community. It gave me something to be excited about week after week.

Sadie Fraser-Read and friends.
Left to right: Sadie Fraser-Read '24, Mariah Towles '23, and Stephen Gangi '24 in the University’s television studio.

Along with TV production, I am currently enrolled in an acting class with Prof. Jonathan Yukich, and a course designed to reimagine the Hazell Nut Café with Prof. Kenneth Martin, as well as my first marketing course with Prof. Ron Kuntze. In addition to my classes, I am also an intern in the University’s Office of Advancement, a member of the Kinetic Tap team, and I was most recently hired as a resident assistant for the 2021-22 academic year.

Attending a University that provides numerous opportunities for students, especially during a time like this, has always been a dream of mine. I encourage each and every student, whether it’s your first year at the University or your fourth (or more), to branch out and try something new.

You never know where you’re going to find your community, and I am so very grateful that I found mine here.

Sadie Fraser-Read ’24 is a hospitality and tourism major at the University of New Haven.