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Senior Spotlights Stories

Ch. 15: A Family Quarantine

Keeping Up with King’s follows the lives of King’s students as they transition to online learning for the rest of the semester. Many have moved back home with family until the summer, some have stayed in the city, others are staying with friends, but all are adjusting to new lifestyles. 

Today’s feature is soon-to-be graduate Rebekah Lambdin, a Humanities major in the house of Sojourner Truth. Rebekah spent spring break at a beach house with her family in California, and stayed with them to finish her semester when King’s went online. After graduation, Rebekah plans to stick around and work some organizational jobs over the summer before moving to LA in the fall. She has been a key part of events planning at King’s, so she is equipped for a successful career in Events sometime in the future. 

Rebekah was homeschooled before college, so going back to doing homework with her younger siblings has been a sweet experience, even when their casual playing around sounds like a raging battlefield. Rebekah has been spending her extra time helping out with her big family (she has two sisters in college and three foster siblings in school, and they’re all at home with her!). She gets to see her boyfriend more often too– check out the puppy Rebekah got him this week!

If Rebekah could say anything to her fellow seniors, she would tell them to recognize the bond that they have. Sharing a loss of such magnitude is unique. “We’ll be the class of 2020,” she says, “and people will know what that means.” She encourages everyone, grad and non-grad, to make the most of the moments they have going forward. When places open back up, and there is somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, DO IT! 

When I asked Rebekah where she would go when New York City opens back up, she said she would go to Times Square. She says that this great example of the city’s diverse melting pot of cultures really encompasses all of the reasons she loves NYC. I asked Rebekah where she would go if California opened back up too. Can you guess how she responded? Leave a comment below! 

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Stories

Ch. 13: Leadership in Quarantine

Keeping Up with King’s follows the lives of King’s students as they transition to online learning for the rest of the semester. Many have moved back home with family until the summer, some have stayed in the city, others are staying with friends, but all are adjusting to new lifestyles.  

Miles Sinagra, a sophomore PPE major, is finishing his classes at home in Louisiana. Before coming home, he lived in campus housing in Brooklyn, but he is currently staying with his parents and younger sister. They live on a dairy farm and have been working together to repaint their barn, which has turned into a fun family project! When Miles went home for spring break, he took his textbooks and two full suitcases with him — he had a feeling things in the city would get more serious. 

Miles shares that transitioning to online classes feels like taking a trip to the past because he was homeschooled through high school. While he remembers how to do school from home, he’s found it hard to be motivated without his friends around to bounce ideas off of. Pursuing excellence, he says, is harder when you have to do it alone. That’s one valuable aspect of King’s community that Miles does not take for granted. 

Succession in leadership is another part of King’s community that looks different because of campus closure. This year, Miles served as Helmsman for the house of Winston Churchill, and he was elected as President for next year. Like many other houses, Churchill held their elections on Zoom. Thankfully, voter turnout did not drop and Churchills all across the country tuned in to participate. Miles regrets that they were not able to have their traditional inauguration, which includes inviting alum and renting a church uptown. Likewise, taking part in the Council’s traditional “Coup” over Zoom, where next year’s council members were sworn in, had an air of bittersweet to it because they could not be together in person. 

While transitioning in leadership roles has been unusual for Miles, he is excited about the future. The King’s community is resilient and continues to build each other up as best they can. Students may not be able to support each other in person, but that only means they’ll celebrate a little louder when they are united again. 

What part of King’s community are you looking forward to seeing again? Leave a comment below!

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Stories

10 Ways Life Has Changed For An NYC Student During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Keeping Up with King’s follows the lives of King’s students as they transition to online learning for the rest of the semester. Many have moved back home with family until the summer, some have stayed in the city, others are staying with friends, but all are adjusting to new lifestyles. Today’s story features David Hancock, a Junior at King’s studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. Here are ten ways his life has changed as a college student living in New York City during the coronavirus pandemic. 

  1. My roommates are gone… – After King’s classes moved online, all of David’s roommates went back home for the rest of the semester. David stayed in their Brooklyn apartment because he did not want to risk endangering his grandparents or other family back home. 
  2. … but I have a new roommate!– With the others gone, David’s friend from the House of C.S.Lewis has moved in for the rest of the semester. The two pals are helping each other keep quarantine boredom away. 
  3. My legs feel like jelly – It has been hard to go from walking two miles a day during the commute to walking only around the apartment between rooms. 
  4. I have a new exercise routine – Because going outside in New York City is currently not recommended (and because of point #3), David has started an exercise routine indoors. 
  5. I learned that my couch is uncomfortable– After sitting on his couch upwards of 12 hours a day to do school, David has discovered that he is no longer a fan. He is half-considering commandeering his roommate’s desk for a few days.
  6. I’m becoming the quiet kid in class – Transitioning to Zoom has made the class environment different. David says that, in an online class, unmuting yourself on a call with twenty others seems like a big deal, especially if your comment is brief. 
  7. Videocalling professors makes me kind of self conscious – For David, seeing yourself in the call makes it feel like you are presenting yourself to professors in a more obvious way. While this has made some students more comfortable, it has been odd for others. 
  8. I have a new love for Facetime – Though he did not use Facetime much beforehand, David has grown to appreciate it as the only way to see his friends and family. The Discord app gets an honorable mention here as well! 
  9. I’m fighting a lack of motivation – The new learning environment has made it a struggle to get schoolwork done at home, or even to focus on personal hobbies like reading books. 
  10. I can’t wait to be in the same room as people – Social isolation is proving that distance really does make the heart grow fonder. But distance is not forever, and we will see our friends in person sooner than we think. 

Do any of these apply to you too? How are you adjusting to new roommates or routines? Leave a comment below!

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Letter From the Editor

Ch. 8: Letter From the Editor

Keeping Up with King’s follows the lives of King’s students as they transition to online learning for the rest of the semester. Many have moved back home with family until the summer, some have stayed in the city, others are staying with friends, but all are adjusting to new lifestyles. 

As the creator of this little project, I have been inspired and encouraged by the stories of my classmates! I am currently with family in Pennsylvania, and I miss New York City as much as my fellow Kingsians do. Hearing them talk about their new hobbies or the silver linings in their predicaments has been a joy to me. Throughout the interviews, some have shared great ideas for keeping in routine or staying in touch with friends. I have taken these recommendations to heart and found that they make quite a bit of difference. 

For example, one friend shared that she goes on drives in the mornings to keep herself in routine and to get mentally prepared for the day. I tried this out one day, and it made me feel like I was commuting to work! Here’s a clip of my “commute” home:

Another friend shared that the secret to keeping up with friends was to write “snail mail” letters as opposed to sending texts or emails. This resonated with me because I had received some letters that made me feel missed and treasured. The other night I decided to write my friends back and reciprocate the love. Here is a glimpse of the process:

What other tricks have helped you escape the quarantine blues? Share a tip below!

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Stories

Ch. 7: Spring Break Visit Turned Quarantine

Keeping Up with King’s follows the lives of King’s students as they transition to online learning for the rest of the semester. Many have moved back home with family until the summer, some have stayed in the city, others are staying with friends, but all are adjusting to new lifestyles. 

Today’s story features Dominique, a sophomore at King’s. RTS major Dominique LaCroix is Spiritual Life Associate for the House of Clara Barton. Before the semester went online, she lived in on-campus housing in the FiDi. Dominique planned to spend Spring Break with her roommate Lydia’s family in New Jersey. However, once King’s went online she ended up staying there rather than coming back to the City. Dominique is planning to stay with Lydia’s family for the rest of the semester, which she says is “kind of like being at my house.” Because she has visited for Thanksgiving and formed friendships with Lydia’s family members, she feels at home there. During the interview, Lydia’s mom had just made fresh chocolate chip cookies for everyone at home.

Dominique is getting accustomed to doing school in her temporary home at Lydia’s. Often they will do school together because they share a lot of classes. To stay in routine, Dominique still tries to get up early every day. Her key to staying disciplined is to have something to look forward to in the morning: she and Lydia usually do devotions together over coffee. In their spare time, they go on walks outside and bake recipes that they discover on Pinterest.

Being out of the city has forced Dominique to slow down, which has been really helpful for her spiritual routines because it has given her more time to read the Bible and pray. She stays in touch with her family over Facetime and connects with her friends with handwritten letters. She expressed gratitude for having received so many letters from people. She thinks that “snail mail” letters are a key part of finding balance in a world that has now begun to stare at screens all day. Staying in touch with her community has been a blessing during this time.

Where did you send your last “snail mail” letter? Are you writing letters more often while you stay at home?

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Stories

Ch. 6: Creative in Quarantine

Keeping Up with King’s follows the lives of King’s students as they transition to online learning for the rest of the semester. Many have moved back home with family until the summer, some have stayed in the city, others are staying with friends, but all are adjusting to new lifestyles. 

Today’s post features Paris Welker-Widell, a Senior in the House of Susan B. Anthony. Paris is completing her Business major with an Economics minor. Before coming to New York City for King’s, she lived in Vero Beach, Florida. Instead of going home when the semester moved online, she decided to stay in Brooklyn with her roommate. It would have been difficult to self-quarantine in a small house because she has some older family members back home. She also plans to move apartments later in April, so it made sense to stay in the City. 

Paris says her living situation has been relatively normal, but with more groceries. Outside of her apartment, the city feels a bit eerie: her local bodega is closed, Fulton Street is empty, and Target is filled with people in masks. For Paris, the situation is a good, humbling reminder that we are not in control and that the glorified NYC “hustle” is not what is most important. As she prays for good things to come of the hardships, Paris sees how the church is becoming more unified. Because her faith in God’s sovereign plan is being tested, it is becoming stronger and more resolute. 

Since her internship at Avail ended with stay at home orders, she has had a lot more free time. Paris has put that time to use reading books (she is currently reading Where The Crawdads Sing, and so far she loves it!), watching movies, and painting magnets.

Although Paris shares concern about the immunocompromised and elderly in her city, she holds to Proverbs 16:9: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” In the meantime, she is getting creative in quarantine. Check out some of her artistic designs below!