Incoming freshmen: Here’s how to prep for you first college semester Wednesday, Mar 31 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

Many prospective students will be receiving their acceptance letter from the University of Louisville soon. And while the college experience during the COVID-19 pandemic might look slightly different than your high school experience. Here are a few tips and tricks to make the best out of your college experience.

 

Come prepared.

Read the syllabus before the beginning of the semester to know what your professor expects from you.

In fall 2021, U of L will offer face-to-face and 100% distance education class options. Although classes will be marked as either 100% digital or face-to-face, professors can incorporate hybrid elements to their class. Ensure that the class meets in a way that you feel comfortable.

If you plan to live on-campus, make sure your housing situation allows you to be as safe as possible while being considerate of others. Bring plenty of masks with you and sanitize surfaces in your room often. If you live with a roommate, give them plenty of space within the room. If this makes you uncomfortable, consider living at home for at least one semester.

Have a contingency plan just in case you or someone you came into contact with catches the virus. Meet with other students in your classes virtually who can help you make up assignments or give you class notes.

 

Budget your money well.

As a college student, you’re going to be faced with several choices throughout your college career. For some of us, budgeting is a bigger issue during the pandemic. 

Don’t just buy all of your textbooks before the school year starts. The best tip to avoid breaking the bank is to wait until you get through your first week of classes to start purchasing textbooks. Give yourself time so that you can determine how serious the professor is about using the assigned reading.

Along the same vein–don’t purchase your textbooks from the bookstore unless you can’t find cheaper alternatives. Take time to shop around for an online version or rental copy of your textbook. Use the book’s ISBN to search on Amazon and Chegg for cheaper versions. The ISBN is located on the back near the barcode or within the first few pages of the book, it should start with the numbers 978 and be 13 digits long.

Take advantage of student discounts. Once you have access to your U of L email account, you have access to student discounts on many platforms including Amazon Prime, Spotify and Apple Music to name just a few.

Students also get all of Adobe’s Creative Cloud products for free, as well as, free visits to the Speed Art Museum (located on campus), and free TARC fare. The TARC, or the Transit Authority of the River City, is Louisville’s public bus transport system and can get you anywhere in the city.

These discounts could end up being life savers when you need textbooks shipped or don’t feel comfortable shopping in-person. Student’s Cardinal Card and email address offer great opportunities for students to cope with stress and take their mind off of things at any point during the semester.

 

Give yourself time to breathe.

Don’t schedule classes so close together. Give yourself time to travel between classes. If your class schedule requires you to travel to the other side of campus in just 10 minutes, you might be scheduling your classes incorrectly. Keep travel time in mind and make sure you have at least 15 minutes between the end of one class to the start of another. You never know when a professor might hold you later than expected.

If you attend all of your classes online, you might want to avoid scheduling classes so close together, too. With classes so close together, you could end up with burnout from Zoom fatigue and become overwhelmed from the constant meetings. Take at least 15 minutes to yourself between online classes at minimum.

The past three semesters have been unconventional. You probably didn’t expect your college experience to be so abnormal.

The college experience is supposed to include in-person classes and learning with their fellow peers about topics that they want to potentially dedicate their lives to,” said Abby Huether, a writer for Colorado State University’s features magazine College Avenue.

“But due to COVID-19, college students this semester were forced to make a choice between either continuing their education, which might mean potentially lower-value classes, all while paying the same tuition, or taking a semester off, leaving many students floundering with no idea of what to do with their life,” Huether said.

We all need to take a breather once in a while.

 

Most important of all–keep yourself healthy.

If you plan to take face-to-face classes, remember to keep your mask over your mouth and nose at all times and stay socially distanced from others.

Destiny Smith, a sophomore nursing major, recommends that all students wear a mask, wipe down surfaces that they touch, and wash their hands after leaving every class.

Be in tune with your mental wellbeing, as well. When you start to feel overwhelmed, look for ways to cope with this stress. The university’s Counseling Center offers a helpful toolkit for students to follow with tips and resources.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Thank the dining staff for their work during the pandemic Monday, Mar 8 2021 

By Catherine Brown–

University of Louisville’s dining staff deserve appreciation for the work that they do to feed students, faculty and staff every day. 

On Feb. 17, U of L Dining announced their decision to reduce dining hours across nearly every restaurant on campus. With that decision came the closures of Louie’s Corner, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Chick-fil-A at HSC Commons.

According to U of L Dining, this decision was made regarding lower rates of students on campus due to COVID-19.

Students were not happy with the decision.

Several students replied to the Instagram post with #FreeEinsteinBros and demanded that the university reinstate the chain’s previous operating hours.

Einstein Bros. is a favorite dining option for many students on campus. The chain operates at early hours, which allows students in early morning classes or athletics to grab breakfast before class or practice. Many students depend on Einstein Bros., the Ville Grill, and Chick-fil-A to start their day.

Destiny Smith, a sophomore nursing major, says that Einstein Bros. has been her go-to breakfast spot when she has 8 a.m. classes.

“The staff at Einstein Bros are so nice, genuine, and funny,” said Smith.

U of L partners with Aramark, a corporation that provides food service and facilities. Therefore, U of L food service workers are technically Aramark employees, not U of L employees. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve any less appreciation.

Several students commented on the impact that the change had on dining employees.  

“Not only is this screwing over students but think of the employees whose hours have been drastically cut,” freshman Vito Sabino said. “These are not high paying jobs either. Seems like U of L is willing to live with impacting the quality of life for food service workers just to save a buck.”

“Think of the workers who will be laid off or will have their hours cut. How will they provide for their families,” said sophomore Savannah Quach.

The following week, U of L Dining announced that food trucks would be available Tuesday to Thursday for students to enjoy.

The decision was made this past week to bring these offerings to campus to aid in our ongoing efforts to improve the student, faculty and staff dining experience,” said U of L Director of Communications John Karman.

While the food trucks did receive decent crowds each day, students demanded that U of L bring back the regular dining hours.

Although students had more diverse dining options to choose from during that week, several original dining options were closed or their hours still reduced. 

Yet, how many dining staff struggled with having their hours reduced or had to worry about being scheduled that week?

U of L Dining has since announced that Einstein Bros. Bagels will open again for Grubhub orders. U of L will cover all transaction fees.

Think about how annoying it is to pay thousands of dollars on a meal plan. Then consider how little of that you can even spend. Finally, think about how little of that money the dining staff will actually see. 

Next time you go out to eat on campus, show your appreciation for the dining staff. If you can, stop and talk to them or give them a compliment. You might make someone’s day.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Washing your hands won’t cut it: Get your flu shot Tuesday, Sep 22 2020 

By Catherine Brown —

Around this time last year, The Louisville Cardinal published an article persuading students to get their flu shots. Global health standards have changed since then. It’s time to get your flu shot.

The University of Louisville will provide free flu shots to students, faculty and staff starting Sept. 21 on the Health Science Campus. On Sept. 28, free flu shots will be available on Belknap Campus in SAC W116-117. 

Students might be surprised to hear that the university is not mandating flu shots the way they have with COVID-19 tests. U of L Director of Communications John Karman said flu shots are still highly recommended for students, faculty and staff.

According to the Center for Disease Control, vaccines produce T-lymphocytes and antibodies. The immune system often develops sickness-like symptoms such as a fever after receiving a vaccine, but these symptoms are normal and help the body to develop immunity. After these symptoms disappear, the body will remember how to fight that disease in the future should a patient get infected. Those infected shortly before or after the time of the vaccination might still develop the disease as the body has not had enough time to create these memory cells.

But the coronavirus is not the same as the influenza virus or any strain of it. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are still susceptible to the flu. 

U of L provides free flu and cold self-care kits to students. These kits can be found at Campus Health Medical Services, the Health Promotion office, and at designated flu-shot stations.

Even U of L students agree that you need to get your flu shot.  “Flu shots are necessary to get because it’s best to be protected against the disease so you won’t have a chance of getting the virus,” said Destiny Smith, a pre-nursing student.

This year, Smith said because of COVID-19 it is even more important to get a flu shot.

”Students should get the flu shot again because the symptoms are very similar to COVID,” she said. “Getting a flu shot is something that may help prevent the spread of COVID.”

Doctors aren’t just suggesting flu shots for fun. People often think they won’t catch a disease because of their good hygienic habits or a strong immune system, but these things aren’t always enough to protect you. Bacteria and viral infections are everywhere and we carry more of these in our bodies than we assume.

The CDC estimates that a range of about 12,000 to 79,000 flu-related deaths occur every year. COVID-19 deaths total at nearly 200,000 in the United States.

Since the early stages of the pandemic, immunologist expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has expressed concerns that the fall season will help spread the virus. 

“As we get into the fall and do more indoor things, we’re likely to see upticks in COVID-19,” said Fauci. He also advised wearing masks and social distancing, which can help control the spread of the flu.

Nobody wants to shake hands with you when you’re carrying harmful bacteria. Simple hand washing isn’t going to make the flu virus go away. Wear a mask and stay home when you can. Nobody wants to catch your virus.

Graphic by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal

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