Just over a month ago, South Carolina got the news about a tropical system named Florence that was making her way to the East Coast of the United States.
It was Friday, Sep. 7 when Coastal Carolina University knew they had to react and had to make a decision fast for students’ safety. At first, CCU thought it would only affect them for a week, but as it came closer it delayed Coastal for two weeks.
Once CCU was clear of water they thought they could start inviting students back, but the citizens surrounding them were not. They still encountered more water damage as that following week, the rain came again. As students made their way back on the final weekend of the September, traveling was still difficult with blocked off roads, sandbags and pouring rain were in their path.
Senior Megan Snead, a local business management major with a focus in operations management, found out about Florence two weeks before she had to make a move. She is a full-time manager as well as a student at CCU, so she had an advantage. Snead did not evacuate, but she did have a plan set in case she had to leave.
“Academically, I really thought it was a setback because we just got into a routine and for me, that balance is really important,” she said.
Snead also notes that the break put her in what she normally does for the summer and she is still playing catch up as for now to try to get back on track. She plans to graduate in May, so she hopes she can adjust in the best way to make that happen.
Junior Nina McCoy immediately went home to Maryland once she received the news about the hurricane. She expected the break to only last a week but to her surprise her professors were blowing up her phone. McCoy’s professors didn’t wait to contact her about the work they had to do. Once the first weekend came she had assignments lined up for her. She was lucky to not have had Saturday classes scheduled.
“It feels like now we are cramming and everyone’s grades aren’t going to be as good [as it would have been before the hurricane],” said McCoy
Sophomore Kelsey Picatello only knew about the storm the Saturday before CCU made a move. She didn’t leave until the Wednesday before Florence hit. Picatello left to go to Charlotte, North Carolina for only three days and decided to come back to Myrtle Beach.
If there wasn’t a hurricane she thinks that she would have had a lot more work to do because her professors canceled a lot of assignments. Picatello says that it even affected how she studied.
“I was in a groove for school before the hurricane started and I had two test when I came back, I had to study really quickly, I was not prepared,” she said.
She wishes everyone luck and hopes the hurricane didn’t affect everyone that much.
Freshman McKenna Tkaczuk heard about Florence through social media and felt rushed once she knew it was real. She was fortunate to not get affected by Florence, academically. Tkaczuk did not have to do anything during her break and now there isn’t really a deadline for assignments and her professors are allowing them to take their time with things so they are less stressed out.
“Since we were only here for a few weeks and then left for longer than we were already here, [I feel] we are just restarting right now,” she said.
Classes have officially been back to a “normal” schedule for the past two weeks. The only exception is that the student holiday on Friday, Oct. 5 and the student holiday on Dec. 6 have been made into makeup days.