As summer winds down, Kean University welcomes students back for the Fall 2020 semester. The university is ready to kick-start the new school year for all students on campus and working remotely.
Summer is a time to relax, spend time with friends and family and do exciting activities that will create memories for years to come. This past summer was no different, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Just like previous years, Kean students were able to enjoy all of their favorite summer activities, all while safely protecting their health and others'. Students were able to work, dine outdoors at restaurants or video chat with friends and family having virtual Netflix parties, watching their favorite movies and TV shows together.
It was a summer full of learning and adapting to new environments. Stephanie Cornejo Lopez, a sophomore majoring in psychology, was able to keep herself busy during summer break. Although mostly staying home, Cornejo Lopez was able to go to the beach, learn how to do new tricks on a skateboard, and watch painting videos with artist Bob Ross. She also visited some friends in her hometown and was able to video chat with family members from across the globe in California and El Salvador. Cornejo Lopez looks forward to the upcoming semester and is ready to learn via Blackboard for classes.
"I look forward to learning how Blackboard works again and battling my procrastination," said Cornejo Lopez.
Zachery Halley, a sophomore majoring in theater, took some time for himself during the summer break. Halley focused on self-care with activities such as reading and recording a podcast with his friends. Halley has many goals for the upcoming academic year and hopes to face the challenge of these times with growth.
"I look forward to passing all of my classes and giving myself the opportunity to change, allowing growth mentally and physically," said Halley.
Junior Patsy Toxtle, a criminal justice major, had a pretty impactful summer vacation. She was given the opportunity to work with New Student Orientation (NSO) as an Orientation Leader with Kean virtually. Toxtle was also able to balance working in NSO with an off-campus job. She even connected with friends and family over video chat or by visiting them face to face. Toxtle says these opportunities to work with the university has allowed her to expand upon her leadership skills for her future as well as being prepared for what is to come this year.
"I am looking forward to meeting new people and seeing how this whole online school learning experience goes," said Toxtle.
Delilah Figueroa, a senior public relations major, used this summer as a chance to better herself. Figueroa made the most of the break by exercising regularly, hiking, going to the beach occasionally, having picnics, and spending time with her family. Despite the pandemic, Figueroa radiates positive energy, as this will be her last semester before graduating from Kean.
"This is my last semester here, so I'm looking forward to graduating!" said Figueroa.
Sophomore Bianca Ortega, majoring in computer science and engineering, thought her summer vacation was relaxing. She played tennis, did lots of reading and video gaming, and worked as an Orientation Leader for New Student Orientation. Ortega says this summer was very enlightening, but she misses her Kean family and looks forward to getting back into the classroom to seeing them once more, whether it is virtual or in-person.
"I really look forward to getting back into learning and seeing my Kean family. I really do miss it," said Ortega.
Tatyana Alicea, a criminal justice major in her junior year at Kean, mostly spent her summer hanging out with her friends and visiting her family in person. Even though her summer was fun and unwinding, Alicea looks forward to going back to classes and being more involved with Student Government and the Criminal Justice Club.
Kean students definitely made the most of their quarantined summer vacation, and are excited to finally return to classes to meet new people and do well scholastically. Whether classes are remote, hybrid, or face to face, the Kean community is beaming with cougar pride, ready to take on any challenges that stand in their way.