Indya Bradley and Olivia Yurcisin are cousins from Elizabethtown and just started their time at WKU this semester. Bradley is majoring in criminology while Yurcisin is majoring in exercise science.
Bradley lived with her parents before starting college and was used to being told what to do by them. Her parents helped her with schoolwork and organization, which helped her time management skills. It’s harder for her to stay on top of things while living on campus, and trying to manage her time by herself was a big adjustment.
“I don’t really have that direction,” she said. “Everything is just on my own.”
Yurcisin, on the other hand, moved out of her house when she turned 18 to live with another family member. She had more freedom than Bradley but was still provided food and money.
She said that the freedom on campus is a different kind of freedom, but both girls have willingly embraced it.
“I like that you can make friends anywhere you go, and people are open to being your friend,” Yurcisin said. “You can learn from other people and where they come from and what they know about life.”
She wanted to study abroad but found out it was too expensive for her. Despite not being able to travel abroad, she feels that she is getting a similar experience on campus.
Bradley enjoys being able to hang out with friends whenever she wants. She and Yurcisin frequent the courtyard in front of Pearce-Ford Tower, a popular spot at the bottom of the Hill. Since it’s such a popular area, there are always new people to meet.
The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the expectations that both Bradly and Yurcisin had for their college experiences.
Bradley said she feels robbed of being able to meet her teachers face-to-face and is dealing with the pressure of keeping track of Zoom calls. She is also upset about not being able to experience MASTER Plan the same way as previous classes.
However, she is still excited about her career and diving deep into her schoolwork. She’s not all work and no play, however. She likes sports and is looking forward to attending games on campus.
The pandemic made Yurcisin completely rethink her college plans. While she was excited at the beginning of the semester, she realized that she was not getting the true college experience that she expected.
“It was basically like living back at home but in a different town,” she said.
Her disappointment prompted her to make the decision to leave WKU, and in spring 2021 she will be transferring to her hometown’s community college. She wants to save money, get a steady job and continue her education in her hometown.
Although Bradley and Yurcisin started their college journeys together, COVID-19 forced them down separate paths.