With Cabrini closing its doors after this school year, many people are reflecting on their time on campus. They tell stories of different parties and events, and a place where people go to relax and gather with their friends.
When my father and I originally toured Cabrini, we wandered onto the campus without any appointment and were given a tour by a freshman advisor who worked in admissions. This tour sold me on the school. The tour guide was very nice, showed us everything we wanted to see, and made everything seem spectacular.
That spring the campus was vibrant and full of life. But soon COVID-19 hit and no one could go to class in person, let alone hang out around the quad. This was the campus that I and everyone else in the 2020 freshman class entered onto, one that was cold and empty.
My senior year of high school ended by graduating in an empty auditorium, with only family as an audience. My freshman year of college started with not being able to have my family in my dorm room.
This became the new normal; no one could go to class, there were few events on campus, and you couldn’t even go into someone else’s dorm room. I didn’t even meet many of my classmates, and certainly not in person. Nothing felt normal, but we all remember it, and it changed our daily lives.
COVID did a lot of damage to Cabrini’s campus, damage that it never bounced back from.
This created an environment on campus that felt almost uneasy, you would go outside, and you wouldn’t see anyone no matter what time of day it was. This was a big contrast from what I saw before I was a freshman. The full-o-f life campus became desolate and lifeless.
Even after COVID restrictions were lifted, the campus wasn’t the same. Students weren’t hanging out in the library, no one sat on the lawn, and students just went back to their dorm rooms.
The campus then became a “suitcase school,” a campus where people went home during the weekend. Today you can walk to class and not see anyone else, even when it’s a nice day.
The problem also stems from the number of commuter students on campus. In 2022, 54% of undergraduate students were commuters. Cabrini has become a shell of its former self, especially this year, with fewer and fewer people on campus. Cabrini never recovered from COVID, and now with its closing, it never will.
Community on campus
In my sophomore year I changed majors from psychology to communication, and for me that changed everything. I have been able to meet some amazing people and lifelong friends in the communication major. Thankfully, being a part of this community has given my college experience meaning.
Going into the real world is very daunting, but being in the communication department taught me so much and prepared me for the real world. My hope is that my fellow senior classmates had similar experiences in their majors. I will forever cherish the long nights in the communication department, as working past midnight on a group project can be more fun than you would think.
Cabrini certainly has its faults. However, this school has certainly given me the opportunity to learn so much from professors who truly care about what they teach.
After this year, Cabrini will be no more, and we will never see the campus alive again. Most of us have had a tumultuous experience at this school, but it’s our college experience, and nothing can change that, for better or for worse.