SCRANTON, Pa – September 20, 2020
The University welcomed students to campus this fall, but there are limitations on how they gather outside of the classroom.
Scranton usually offers a wide variety of activities, clubs and events for students to take part in, but most of these have gone virtual to help stop the spread of COVID-19 on campus.
First-year students use these events to meet new people and make friends. Since these activities are virtual, first-year students are utilizing non-traditional ways to create friendships at Scranton.
Caitlin Doughton is a first-year student at Scranton. Doughton said she felt a little blind coming into her first year at the University but has managed to find ways to socialize and make connections with others on campus. Doughton loves nature and said that she enjoys going outside to spend some time out of her dorm room.
“I find it extremely beneficial to escape to the library or make a spontaneous stop at a picnic table on campus,” Doughton said.
Doughton said she also spends time outside with her friends exploring the surrounding area.
“My friends and I love hiking through Nay-Aug Park, strolling through campus and even doing our school work on the Dionne Green,” Doughton said.
Though the social scene is not as large as it usually is, Doughton said she has grown closer with her roommate, Maura Kranz, from the extended time they spend in their rooms.
“The time spent together in our dorm room has created a seamless transition into us being best friends,” Doughton said.
From doing homework together to just going on walks, Kranz said that her and Doughton became closer than she could have ever imagined.
“We have grown accustomed to each other in ways I never thought we would,” Kranz said.
Apart from studying, Doughton and Kranz spend time together making Tik Tok videos and doing other activities that allow them to bond. Doughton said the two are just like normal teenagers when they are together.
“From encouraging each other to complete our assignments to having the occasional girls’ night, we both try to be as positive, supporting and uplifting as we possibly can,” Doughton said.
Doughton studies biology at Scranton and is on the pre-med track. She is a member of the Health Professions Organization and was recently elected as one of the University’s student government senate members for the class of 2024. Doughton said the limitations on events and activities have benefitted her time management and schedule.
“Because of the current situation on campus, I’m only involved in the activities that intrigue me the most,” Doughton said, “I’m able to focus on my schoolwork while still being a part of the activities I love most.”
Doughton tries to not dwell on the negativity in life at the current moment. Doughton said she is attempting to act as a form of light in all of the dark times and will continue to have a positive attitude to help brighten life for others.