Md. student sent home from college in Ohio describes new reality

Sabrina Moran, 20, said she uses apps like HouseParty and Skype to connect with her friends at Xavier University in Ohio. (Courtesy Sabrina Moran)

As the coronavirus spreads, college students are getting used to their new normal, attending classes entirely online. A Maryland student attending school at Xavier University in Ohio learned how it would impact her directly when she first learned her spring break would be cut short.

And then came the word revealing the rest of the semester’s fate.

Sabrina Moran, who is from Chevy Chase, was not paying much attention to the news. But after she learned about the spread of COVID-19, she had to pack for a flight home, as thousands of college students across the country also had to do.

“We were sitting there with the three bowls I hadn’t packed up yet and some dishwasher soap, and I said, ‘Guys I cannot believe this is happening!’ Because it happened so fast,” Moran said. “Like in the span of three hours, I’m saying goodbye to my school until…August.”

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Moran, who turned 20 last week, said distance learning is going well for her, because she doesn’t find her 18 credits too overwhelming. However, she has heard from others, including students she tutors in Spanish, that some aspects of moving college entirely online are stressful.

Taking exams online and registering for fall classes have been among the more challenging tasks, she said.

“It has been hard to get answers to questions because our university doesn’t even have the answers to those questions yet,” Moran said.

The sophomore, who plans to become an early childhood special education specialist, said the circumstances have strengthened her decision in choosing her career.

“It makes me really realize how much of an effect you can really have on someone in the classroom, but it’s really hard when they’re outside of the classroom,” Moran said. “Like that’s so much out of your control.”

Moran said she is connecting with friends over the HouseParty app, which allows eight people to share a streaming video call,. She also said students are hopeful their summer jobs and internships won’t be canceled because of the pandemic.

Moran, for one, plans on leading the area YMCA’s camps in inclusive learning.

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Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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