COVID Clg. Exp: Araba Dennis

Araba Dennis ('24) speaks in an interview about her freshman year experience at Longwood University during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Freshman year can be a hard time for anybody going into college. From the stress of social life to the stress of passing your classes, everyone is a little anxious about their first year. The incoming Class of 2024 has had a little more hardships than most. They were the high school graduating Class of 2020. In March of 2020, schools all across Virginia shut down. By May 1, 2020, all of those seniors needed to make a decision about what college they would be attending in the fall with none of the resources they previously had.

For Araba Dennis, she chose to come to our lovely school: Longwood University. She is from Alexandria, Virginia and her major is Criminal Justice with a minor in Race and Ethics Studies. Araba stays in the Moss residential building and has no roommates, just suitemates. She loves that everything is really nice and brand new for her first time living alone.

Speaking with her, you could see her eyes light up when she speaks on her classes here. In her classes, she has learned so much and says that the reality of her field was better than her expectations. When she learned that most fields of Criminal Justice have taser training, she says that although she is scared, “ It is teaching me how to be strong. And I think I need that- learning to be strong will be good for me.”

“My first semester, it was really, it was good.” When asked about it, she loved her first semester. However, she is super excited to start her second semester as a member of Sigma Kappa. Araba was one of the hundreds of girls that virtually participated in Spring 2021’s Sorority Rush. She said it was very interesting and didn’t really like that it was virtual. While I’m sure we can all understand why in-person rush would be more enjoyable, she was still able to find her home.

“I was really excited,” Araba says. “I was really surprised because it was really hard to choose at first.” When it came down to making the decision to submit bids, it was between Sigma Kappa and Alpha Gamma Delta. Luckily for Araba, she got her first pick of Sigma Kappa. She was super surprised and is super happy with her sisterhood. Being of color, she was worried she wouldn’t get in. “I was scared that if I choose them, they might not choose me.” Overall, while it was ‘kinda boring at first’, she has grown to love not only Longwood, but Farmville and her sisterhood as well.

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