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UM senior speaks out on the impact of COVID-19

Posted at 2:08 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 19:47:01-04

MISSOULA — The University of Montana Administration has made decisions to protect the students and staff from the spread of COVID-19.

By taking measures like moving all classes to online instruction and most recently canceling in-person graduation.

Tessa Nadeau, a UM senior studying journalism, had a feeling the rest of her semester was about to change,

“I kind of came to the conclusion myself that its probably not going to be a normal senior year graduation that most people are used to getting," said Nadeau.

Nadeau is using the opportunity of to reflect on her years spent at UM.

“Being able to enjoy every second and really be thankful for that, versus just rushing through my senior year and I'm actually being able to be thankful to look back on the last year I had and the last four years I had.”

Despite all the changes to her senior year Nadeau is remaining positive.

“Something that has helped me is waking up everyday and remembering 5 things that I am thankful for and that has really changed my mindset of 'Oh I don't have this, I don't have that' but kind of just focus on what I do have,” said Nadeau.

While Nadeau is receiving online instruction, professors are working hard to provide students education.

Denise Dowling, the Director of the School of Journalism at UM, says that these times are a great learning experience for students.

“This is going to prove so valuable for them as they get out into the working world full-time and launch their journalism careers,” said Dowling.

Dowling says that not only are the journalism students remaining positive and showing up for class, so are the professors.

“The professors are in great spirits, they say that the students are engaged and understanding and resilient and so we are moving forward,” said Dowling.

Nadeau says that experiencing a pandemic like the novel coronavirus will be a great story to tell in the future.

“It's going to another story to tell my kids or whoever one day,” said Nadeau.

Dowling says she is so proud of the way students have remained motivated and is finding ways to commemorate the seniors in the journalism program.

The School of Journalism had to cancel their study abroad trip to Northern Ireland to report on the impacts of Brexit, but are hoping to reschedule for next May.