Beyond Carlisle

Students have set up workspaces at home. Photo courtesy of Krisha Mehta

Students have set up workspaces at home. Photo courtesy of Krisha Mehta

Victoria Gralla '22, Copy Editor

This academic year, the Dickinson community has extended beyond Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Here is a glance into a couple students’ spring semester off-campus.

Being distanced from dorm living has its challenges. Brina Stow ’22 explains, “I have a lot more real world concerns in a sense. I have to think about feeding myself and really just supporting myself whereas on campus you have your room, and the meal plan, and you don’t have to think about your basic needs.” It also presents an added barrier to making new friends. “It’s hard to build a community when you’re not there,” added Stow.

Michelle Morales ’21 is missing “those senior moments” with her friends on campus and finds working on her thesis virtually makes it harder to receive feedback than when in previous years, “you could go to the library and sit down with your peers.”

However, living away from campus does offer some unique experiences. While home in India, Krisha Mehta ’23 has been able to spend time with her grandma. “She’s been like a mother figure to me all my life and she’s 80 years old now so…having this chunk of time with her for almost a year and a half was a blessing.”

Clubs have served as a bridge between students on and off campus. “Choir and theatre have also still been accessible with virtual rehearsals, so one of my favorite parts of the Dickinson experience (participating in the performing arts) hasn’t been lost to me.” They allow students to check in with one another because “even though some of us are at home and others] are on campus, we’re still all distanced in some way,” said Mohala Kaliebe ’22

Mehta is on the executive boards for the Asian and Asian-American Collective (AAAC) and the neuroscience club, which “helps [her] stay connected” with “friends that [she’s] known forever.” However, Mehta explained, “just because of the time zone differences, coming to evening meetings has been a bit of a barrier for me.” Vicente Taijeron ’24 is also a member of the AAAC and said, “given the increase in racism towards Asians and Pacific Islanders during this time,” it has provided a space for students to “discuss important social issues with the AAPI community on campus.”

Distanced learning has had an impact on classes as well. For Taijeron, the biggest challenge this semester has been the time difference. He said, “Guam is 15 hours ahead of Pennsylvania which means I begin most school days around 11:30 PM and end around 7:00 AM. This huge time change took some time to get used to, but my family and I figured it was a sacrifice that needed to be made given the current state of the world.”