By Grace Elsner '20
Hi Viz! For those who may not remember me / don’t know me, my name is Grace Elsner and I helped found Vivette Times back in 2017. I worked my way up to eventually becoming project manager as a senior. I now attend Creighton University.
When I was asked to write by Anna, I was super excited and had a ton of ideas, so I hope I can properly convey everything that I wanted to say. There was a lot of anticipation and changes that went on the summer before college, including changing the graduation date for the class of 2020, as well as my new school, Creighton, making some changes to our semester. The first big change came when they announced we would be returning to campus a week early and ending the semester about three weeks earlier as well, with exams falling the 4-7 days before Thanksgiving—meaning a very much shortened and accelerated semester. This meant no fall break, but I was just relieved that I would still have somewhat of the college experience that I was always hoping for.
Within two weeks of officially saying goodbye to Viz, I had packed my bags and said one final goodbye to my high school friends. I was scheduled to leave for Creighton on Wednesday, August 12th, and I said goodbye to my friends on that Monday. Everything changed on Tuesday when my friend had arrived at his campus, and rapid-tested positive for COVID-19. In a very crazy four hours, I had been hit with the realization that I would not be arriving to my school for another two weeks, as well as being forced to quarantine in my room. I would miss welcome week (orientation activities) as well as my first week of classes—all of which were in person and socially distanced. I sat at home watching Snapchat stories of what could have been, as my roommate, Kate, ended up making many friends in those two weeks. I was worried I would find myself way behind the curve. After all, I had never been the new kid, since I had been at Viz for so long. I also found myself apprehensive to go to school with boys. It was a new experience, and was certainly different than the all girls education I had known and loved. Now in a career path that is male dominated (finance and marketing), I know the reality soon will be more and more of my classes with less and less girls, but I welcome this experience because I know that a coed education would be one of the new adventures that comes with college.
Creighton was super great about the pandemic, and we kept our numbers very low in the following ways: we had a screening each day on our phones a well as temperature checks every day as we left the building for the first time, lots of rigorous contact tracing, surveillance (random) COVID testing, and an indoor and outdoor mask mandate. Living in the largest of the four freshman residence halls on campus came with extra responsibility, but while Douglas County (the county Omaha, Nebraska resides in) had cases consistently rising, we kept our cases low. I regularly got myself COVID tested by making appointments, social distanced when possible, and wore my mask. I even got tested over fifteen times (all negative tests, too!) and only went into isolation due to an exposure once. This did not keep me from making friends though. I have finished my first semester with a great friend group and with fun experiences that I will remember for a lifetime, and I am so excited to go back in the spring, for another shortened and accelerated semester. Lastly, I want to touch on how I was still able to get involved during my first semester. I am a member of the Women in Business club, which I am so excited about, as well as becoming a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity, and I was just accepted to begin as a tour guide for Creighton Admissions in the spring. Omaha has been a super welcoming community, and Creighton has made it feel like home.
If any seniors are potentially interested in Creighton for their undergraduate education, I would be happy to chat with you, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (or if past teachers would like to keep in touch!).
Wishing Viz all my love,