Hurricane Michael brings change to the semester

The second floor of Coleman Library.
Photo submitted by Jair Wright.

School has been back in session for more than a week and some students still have not adjusted to the changes implemented by Hurricane Michael. Two weeks ago, Tallahassee was rocked by the arrival of the hurricane, which made landfall as a Category 4. It left a devastating impact in Leon County and other surrounding areas such as Panama City, other coastal communities and even in-land Marianna and Gadsden County.

During that week all schools in the district were closed from Tuesday through Friday and more than 100,000 people lost power. The week before that college students were fresh off a memorable homecoming week full of festivities.

Not only did the hurricane make a physical impact, it also psychologically affected students and the pace of the fall semester for students. They are still trying to catch up mentally as the semester continues. Many of them had midterms and assignments due that week, but everything was pushed back due to schools closing down.

It seems like a blessing for students to get nearly an extra week to study and finish work but the loss of power made it almost impossible for them to stay on top of their education if they chose to stay in the city.  

Shankeisha Washington, a senior health leisure and science major, tried her best.

“I tried to study for my midterm but it was way too hot because there wasn’t any AC and once the sun went down you couldn’t see anything,” she said.

“Plus my phone kept dying and I had to keep going back and forth to my car just to charge it, so I finally decided to just leave on Friday.”

Students that chose to leave Tallahassee earlier in the week had the advantage of having power.

“I went to Orlando with my friends basically to use those days off as a vacation but we ended up getting a lot of work done until we had to come back on Sunday,” said senior information technology student Cedric Tisdale.

Classes resumed on the following Monday, Oct. 16, even though some people still didn’t have power. Some professors still expected assignments to be complete and any exams planned before the hurricane were still going to take place.

Political science professor Christopher Daniels took a different approach.

“The hurricane basically stopped the lessons that I had. We were right in the middle of some important topics in class but I decided to be patient and catch my class back up before moving on to other issues.”