College Experience

Student Attitudes Towards College and University COVID-19 Responses

Olivia Hauber

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities across the United States closed their campuses and transitioned to remote learning. The goal of this project was to explore the attitudes held by college students towards their school’s decisions in response to COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. Interviews with students from four colleges and universities were used to gain insight into the attitudes of these students. Student attitudes were determined through the emotions expressed by students, the established trust, or lack thereof, between students and their school’s administration, and the level of responsibility placed on the school. While students had similar attitudes towards their school’s overall response, more minor decisions and a lack of trust negatively impacted student attitudes.

The Effect of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Collegiate Athletes

Amanda Wetmore

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA canceled all sporting events for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Athletes across the country were impacted as championships and seasons were taken away. The goal of this project was to document the collegiate student athlete’s experience during the pandemic. I spoke with athletes and coaches to understand what they were feeling and experiencing since the time of the sports cancellations and how they were coping with the inability to participate in their sports. The interviews revealed that athletes faced similar struggles such as adapting to new schedules without having their primary outlet. To endure these struggles, athletes stayed connected to their teams and found silver linings in their situations to promote positive thinking.

Documenting the Difficulties that WPI Students Faced Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis at Home

Ardavasd Ardhaldjian

This project explores the experiences and challenges that WPI students living at home are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interviews with 7 students in a variety of living situations were used to gain insight into their daily lives. Interviewees also participated in a photo elicitation exercise that provided a peak into their lives during the coronavirus pandemic as they are experiencing it. The photographs were also used to personalize questions during Interviews. Analysis of the answers provided by the Interviewees showed similarities among challenges in areas such as transitioning to online classes, hobbies and new family dynamics.

Effect of Social Media and the Internet on College-Aged Friendships During the Pandemic

Connor Skinner

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing became synonymous with remaining healthy. Many college students have dealt with this sudden isolation by increasing their social media use to remain connected with friends. This project investigates how social media, now that it remains one of the only ways to socialize, is affecting the friendships of college-aged students during the time of the pandemic. Topics explored include how social media is changing the quality/quantity of interactions, the closeness of friends, and what any possible lasting impacts may be after the end of the pandemic.

The Role of Video Games in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cameron Walsh

This project explores the current role of video games in the lives of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and how the way they use video games has changed. Interviews with several people at different stages of gaming (from people who just bought their first game to people who have been playing for years) explore people’s reasoning for playing and how the pandemic has affected the genre of games they play and the choices they make in games. Each interviewee was asked to reflect on how video games have played a role in their own lives in the past and to submit a photograph of a character, cutscene or background of a game with a particular impact on them.