– Student Opinion Article – Haley Williams talks about her personal story, FYE, and the upcoming Fall Semester during COVID-19
Haley Williams (pictured right) is a Biology major at WAU. She’s an international student from Bermuda, she’s 21 years old and she has a Yorkie. She decided to come to WAU because she fell in love with the campus. It had her major and minor, it was the most affordable, and she loved the small campus atmosphere. Scholarships that WAU offered were some of the best that she could get compared to most universities.
When coming on campus as a freshman, Haley was recommended (like all incoming freshmen) to do the introductory course, FYE (First Year Experience). FYE is all about learning about your campus and environment. It has a lot of benefits! It teaches you skills and how to live the college life to its full potential. One learns class scheduling, planning, organization, and so much more. A great win in this program is that it’s close to DC. During the course, students take a trip to tour the area and learn about the endless opportunities there. After going through the FYE course, Haley was asked by Becky Barker, the FYE Coordinator, to become a leader and she gladly applied. “We are Advocates for the school,” says Haley and she’s proud of it.
Now that the fall semester is around the corner, FYE, school, and the world itself are different this year. COVID-19 has changed almost everyone’s life like never before. “When the virus first happened, I didn’t think that it would spread so fast but soon I realized it was not a joke as time went on,” comments Haley. For her personally, the worst part of COVID-19 was that she couldn’t go home and be with her family. Luckily, she feels safe on campus and in the resident halls. “They have really stepped up and taken precautions. Just recently, a security guard came to the dorm to put plexiglass in certain areas to help protect the residents and I just appreciate the school for taking the initiative.”
So the big question is, what is this fall semester going to be like? “If everyone washes their hands and wears their masks, we will be ok! Also, it’s a Christian campus so God’s got us!” Haley laughs. “That’s why I’m not too worried.”
For FYE, she believes Becky Barker is really trying to be innovative in making sure she can still do the activities during the fall and just hoping for the best. The times are uncertain but FYE and the university presses on. FYE is hoping to still take trips to DC, just in smaller groups and do activities in smaller parts – where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Though classes are starting in the fall on campus, when Thanksgiving break comes and everyone goes home, virtual classes will complete the semester. In virtual classes, Haley says, “It’s hard to be engaged sometimes.” She mentioned that what she noticed helped her and other students stay engaged were teachers who had games, broke them up into groups via zoom, and tried to be creative BUT in a balanced manner. “Some teachers may think that since students are home and have more time that work should be piled on us,” Haley sighs. She believes what works best is quality over quantity.
As Haley prepares for the fall, she reminds everyone – “DON’T STRESS. God got you! My best advice is to: Remember when you need help, ask for help!” Ask your teachers, ask your friends, and ask God!
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7