Editor’s Note: This article contains a source that is a member of The Post.
Transfer students are struggling to build connections as they adjust to campus living amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many students decided not to return to campus for Spring Semester, and for transfer students, living at home has severely limited their ability to make connections with other OU students.
Olivia Patterson, a sophomore studying physical therapy, transferred to Ohio University from its Lancaster branch and has struggled making friends from home.
“It's been kind of lonely since I've never been to campus,” Patterson said.
Living at home has made finding a Bobcat community more difficult, and Patterson contends that she does not know the best way to get in contact with other OU students.
“I've talked to a few people in my classes and stuff, but I haven't really reached out to anyone else,” Patterson said. “I don't know all of the ways to get connected with new people.”
Transfer students who decided to live on campus have the option to live in one of the university’s transfer learning communities located in Adams and Bromley halls.
“We partner with Housing and Residence Life to provide an experience that helps them meet other transfer students, live in an upperclass hall, and addresses needs of transfer students specifically,” Wendy Merb-Brown, assistant dean of operations and first-year & student transitions, said in an email.
While Abbie Kinney, an undecided freshman, was aware she was eligible to apply for the transfer learning communities, she was unsure how to go about the process, she said.
Despite not living in the transfer learning community, Kinney contends that many freshmen are also looking for a sense of community, as many have not lived on campus until this semester.
“Most freshmen moved in this semester, so it wasn't too hard to make friends,” Kinney said.
Students have been looking for alternative avenues in which they can make friends and further their connections at OU. Many transfer students have taken to social media in search of community.
“I think social media has a big impact on how to make friends with the virus,” Kinney said.
Facebook groups have been a way for students from all over the state to connect with one another, whether at home or on campus.
“I found this Facebook page, and it's about connecting with new people,” Patterson said. “It's just started, so I don't really know if it's gonna kick off or do anything yet.”