Opinion Editor

Cate Rush is a first-year Nursing student. She works for Campus Safety and is a coxswain for the Rowing Team. She stayed on-campus in order to participate in daily rowing practice and team-building activities.

Mast Media (MM): What was it like to live on campus during a break?

Rush: “It was very quiet. I missed a lot of people, but it was also really nice just to go home, and it was quiet and not very hectic… It was very peaceful and calm here.”

MM: Was it easy to get food?

Rush: “It was fairly easy to get food for me. I go to Saars pretty regularly, so I walked to Saars to get groceries for the week, and with rowing I got some grocery-type foods, too. That took care of some of my meals, and we had some team dinners. It was kind of fun to cook for myself and to eat here. OMM was open occasionally with very odd hours, but you had to cook all of your own meals.”

MM: How did you get cooking materials without a desk worker?

Rush:“You had to have your own if you wanted to stay on-campus. I had one small pan from first semester and a cutting board, and I had to buy a second pan and a few more cooking utensils because you really can’t do everything with a fork. You try, but you do need a spatula. Cooking oil, you never really think about that, and salt and pepper, those types of things were all necessary.”

MM: Did you dislike anything about being on-campus with few other people around?

Rush: “I didn’t realize how much I relied on OMM as well as the Commons and services on campus.  There were some offices open, but not many. It was weird when I wanted to go get a snack or get a coffee and nothing was open. Nothing was going on related to students on campus, and if you wanted something you had to leave campus. That was kind of a weird experience. Spring break is a good time to apply for jobs and to look for opportunities outside of your schoolwork because you don’t have to go to class. It was really nice to have that break, but I also noticed that because I’ve been here the whole time, it just felt like classes picked back up again immediately as if there was no break. It felt like it was a weekend and then it was right back into classes because there was no transition.”

MM: If given the choice, would you stay on-campus during another break?

Rush: “It was nice to work to make a little bit of extra money, but I really missed my family. I wish I would have been able to go home and see my best friend and spend some time at home. I think it would have been easier to apply for summer jobs since I’ll be home while there, so if given the option, I probably won’t stay on-campus. Maybe for the shorter breaks, but not for spring break. I’d either go home or go somewhere fun to get a break from campus. It does feel very continuous now. I needed a change of scenery.”

MM: How many people would you say were left on-campus?

Rush: “There were very few. I would say in Harstad that the rowers were here and that was pretty much it, so five or six girls in Harstad. There were also RAs periodically coming in and out. It was weird not having a front desk worker and not seeing people anywhere. Everything was quiet, but it was interesting because there weren’t a lot of students, but there was a lot of stuff going on. There were a ton of conferences and a huge choral event from one of the school districts nearby that caused people to pour onto campus. There was also a model train show, so campus was busy, but it was no one that I knew and there were very few students here. A majority of the students left on campus were athletes, but even the students who didn’t leave for the whole break still went somewhere like to a friend’s house for a bit.”

MM: What was the best part of being on campus while it was closed?

Rush: “As an introvert it’s nice to just have a break from people once in a while. It was nice to have respite. Not having everyone here also made it seem like more of a separation from the school year. Even though I didn’t leave, it still felt like I was getting a break from the routine, so I liked that about it. I definitely missed my family and the possibility of going somewhere.” ◼︎

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