Global Ambassador Stories

Prepared for Anything

Story by Daniel Madrinan Chiquito
January 31, 2022

Starting in the Fall 2020 semester, many of us were a bit frightened to return to campus. The new hybrid class structure (online mixed with in-person) caused us to be concerned that we might not have the same quality of interaction with our classmates and our professors. But, with the great support of Protect Purdue, all the spaces were adequate to perform educational activities while keeping everyone safe. Social distancing between in-person students was provided, as well as supplies for personal cleaning and disinfecting of areas, for those attending in person. Those attending online using ZOOM, Teams or WebEx allowed them to be and feel equally part of the class.

Since I am the kind of person that enjoys making friends and hanging out, I was worried that COVID-19 would change that. Although the online portion of classes proved to be a bit challenging, it was helped through the use of a program called Slack. In my department, professors and students interact using Slack for messages, posts, and even video. Although Slack was a little confusing in the beginning, I would say that it has helped me form new friendships in my program and has allowed me to reach out to people faster.

Even though we were all forced to deal with the challenges of COVID-19, the interaction did not need to end. Both Purdue and local commercial establishments kept everyone safe by using appropriate precautions such as social distancing, face masks, and hand sanitizer, which helped keep the student community strong, safe, and engaged. Activities such as grabbing a beer, having picnics in the park, going bowling, and meeting with people in a house have also been possible because of the aggressive and successful steps Purdue has taken to stop the spread of the virus, especially through its COVID-19 testing program and quarantine enforcement.

It is important to keep a balance between your personal life and academia. We all had to adapt quickly to changes. But whether your attendance was online or in-person, it was always good to keep a schedule, to have time to sleep, to have human interactions, and to go out of the house. That is because our safe place had become our office, our classroom, our research lab, and having that time away from work was necessary.

What I feared at the beginning of the year changed quickly and soon turned out to be nothing to be afraid of. I have great friends that I have come to rely upon—who are my support on those weird or just plain “bad” days. Together we have been able to help each other through this challenging year and made this time at Purdue great. With vaccinations provided by Purdue to all students, professors, and staff, I am looking forward to being part of “stopping the spread” and helping our community get back to normal. We were all very excited to return this past fall to less restrictions on campus and the ability to interact with others. As we head into the spring term of 2022, I look forward to seeing all of you on campus, where we will continue to Protect Purdue while we Boiler Up! 

Daniel Madrinan-Chiquito
MS Student in Computer Graphics Technology

The views of the author are not necessarily those of the Grad School or Purdue University.