Lots of news today

All, very busy day here (both in terms of news and I am in a ton of meetings) so this is going to be a quick-hit kind of blog.

The biggest news is that we sent out a message today about testing and self-quarantine for undergraduate students. Tons of details therein, so please read it thoroughly.

Our town hall for P’21-’23s is tonight at 7 pm. No pre-registration is required; you can tune in here. We will be hearing an update from several administrators, and it would be really helpful if you held your chat questions until those folks have been able to share their information. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

As promised, our excellent photographer, Ken Bennett, has created this great photostory with a look at what’s happening on campus as we prep for the fall. This really helped me see the first glimspes of what campus might look like for the fall. Check it out. As I mentioned yesterday, there will soon also be tents going up in outdoor spaces – so will bring you more photos as they are available. There is also a great new video from Rue Cooper (’21) about the fall semester.

For P’24s, two things to keep on your radar screen: 1) we are getting ready to email all P’24s with links to our virtual parent and family Orientation modules (hopefully by tomorrow), and 2) housing assignments will be released very soon. So let me offer my annual words on keeping perspective on where your Deac lands:

When new students get their residence hall assignments (and roommate assignment if applicable), and this tends to be a moment of high anxiety/worry. I urge you not to worry.

Some students will feel chagrined if they are not in one of our newest residence halls.  This is a simple matter of economics – new students need to be spread out among all first-year residence halls, not just the two newest ones – so you have a relatively low chance of landing in one of the two newest halls.  Rest assured that the other residence halls are fine.  I have lived in Bostwick (unairconditioned, I might add), Collins, and Babcock (back in my day, women lived on south campus and men on the Quad) and they were all OK.  In fact, there have been upgrades and renovations (upgraded bathrooms, sinks, common areas, new furniture/paint/carpet).  As with everything else, there are some pros and cons to each.  And there are even cons to the newer halls 🙂

Some may be chagrined that they wanted a roommate and did not get one. Sometimes not getting what you want can be a wonderful stroke of luck. In all my years of working with students, I can remember only a couple of times that a student or family member called me unhappy about being in a single. I get far more calls about students not being happy with their roommate.

I am an anxious person by nature and worry a lot. My P’92 mother’s constant refrain about worry is “don’t borrow trouble.” By that she means don’t spend your time worrying about what might happen, because it robs you of today’s joy. No matter where your student is living, or whether or not they have a roommate, things tend to have a way of working out. I know that is easy to say and hard to believe. The keys to starting college (even in non-COVID times) are approaching it with an attitude of patience, flexibility, compromise, and willingness to try new things. No matter where you Deacs land, if you help them see that perspective, you will be doing them a great service.

 

— by Betsy Chapman, Ph.D. (’92, MA ’94)

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