At the University of San Francisco, students can sign up for excursions, according to Chloé Collinwood, ’19. For one of these trips, Collinwood visited the Museum of Ice Cream. (Photo courtesy of Collinwood)

FRESHMAN FOCUS: Chloé Collinwood, ’19, houses USF classmate from Poland during pandemic

Chloé Collinwood, ’19, majors in international business at the University of San Francisco (USF).

Q: Why did you choose USF?

A: I wanted a college that was in a big city that’s fun and lively. However, I also wanted to go somewhere academically oriented and that focused on things that were important to me, such as social justice issues. USF is very involved with city politics.

Q: How has the experience been so far?

A: The beginning of the year was great, but I’m super upset about the coronavirus. The city was super fun, I liked all of my classes, and my teachers were pretty chill.

Q: How has the pandemic affected you?

A: All of my classes have gone online, which sucks because I hate online school. I was on my spring break when I got an email saying that our classes would be going online for two weeks, and when my friends and I were driving back to San Francisco, we were told that we would finish the semester online and had to move out of our rooms within the next week. 

Q: Was everyone required to leave the campus?

A: Yeah, one of my friends who was out of state at the time flew in at around 3 a.m., packed her stuff up, then got on another plane two hours later.

One of my friends is staying with me in Sacramento right now because she is from Poland and wasn’t able to get a plane back home.

Q: What classes are you taking?

A: I am taking Anthropology of Social Media, Business Statistics and Public Speaking. In my first semester, I also took a philosophy class and an economics class.

Q: Has the pandemic affected the flow of the classes?

A: My teachers have become less strict about attendance and homework. In my Business Statistics class, my professor records his lectures and has 30-minute Zoom calls each day for people to ask him questions, which I think is a good system.

Chloé Collinwood, ’19, (left) swings with a friend at the Museum of Ice Cream on a USF excursion. (Photo courtesy of Collinwood)

Q: What was your favorite class before switching to online?

A: Probably my Public Speaking class because of the environment. I made friends in the class, and the teacher was lovely.

Q: What was your least favorite class?

A: In my first semester, I took an economics class, and it was the teacher’s first time ever teaching. She was still a student herself, and about halfway through the semester, about half of the class dropped out. Everyone in the class did so poorly that she was reported to the head of her department.

Q: What was your largest class?

A: My largest was my anthropology class, which had around 35 people.

Q: What was your smallest class?

A: My smallest class was my first-semester philosophy class, which had about 10 people.

Q: How was the workload of your classes before switching to online?

A: This semester, the workload hasn’t been too bad. My current classes don’t have much work, and they’re overall pretty chill. My roommate, however, has a ton of work. Some days she would do about 16 hours of straight homework. It’s not that her classes are hard or she has a difficult major, but rather that she got unlucky picking her teachers, and they happen to assign a ton of homework.

Q: What is the food like?

A: It’s mostly fast food, and the campus has only one dining hall right now. We all make jokes about it because it’s so bad.

Chloé Collinwood, ’19, visits a beach near campus. (Photo courtesy of Collinwood)

Q: What was your housing situation on campus?

A: I lived in a coed dorm. It was the nicest dorm on campus, and I really enjoyed it.

Q: How was the transition from high school to college?

A: Country Day really prepared me well. It’s such an accelerated school and really helps with the academic transition. In a way, it felt like the transition from middle to high school; we have already experienced this kind of increase in difficulty. 

Q: Have you made any freshman mistakes?

A: I definitely shouldn’t have skipped class as much. When classes don’t have attendance (taken), it can be harder to force yourself to go. Especially when the weather is nice, which is pretty rare for San Francisco.

Q: Do you have any advice for the class of 2020?

A: Everything will work out. Things can get really stressful and crazy, but it will work out. I promise. 

Five-star or subpar?

Quality of classes: ★★★★☆

Student-teacher interaction: ★★★★★

Location: ★★★★★

Food: ★☆☆☆☆

Housing: ★★★★★

Social scene: ★★★☆☆

Clubs: ★★★★☆

School spirit: ★★★☆☆

—By Miles Morrow