news-category: Campus News

First-Year Student Adjusts to College Life with COVID-19 Safety Measures

a phot of emily mosier and her family on move-in day
Emily Mosier and her family on move-in day.

Emily Mosier, ’24, and her Family Share Their Experiences in These Unprecedented Times  

Emotions were high when Emily Mosier, of Lincolnton, N.C., moved into her residence hall at Gardner-Webb University for the 2020 fall semester. She was both thrilled and eager to begin her first year at GWU. At the same time—as the first of six children in her family to attend college—she expected to be a little homesick.

“Saying, ‘See you soon,’ when they left was hard for me,” Emily underscored. “I’ve never been without my family and then, it was time for the moment I’ve been waiting for my entire life. I was finally on my own, but I realized that I was going to miss the people who used to make me crazy.”

Jeff Mosier posted this picture to Instagram on Aug. 17, 2020, after helping his daughter, Emily, move into and set up her dorm room.

Besides all the feelings related to sending their first child to college, Jeff and Brandi Mosier also had to consider risks from COVID-19. Despite the unknowns, the Mosiers paid Emily’s housing deposit in April. “That’s a big step towards her next chapter as a Runnin’ Bulldog,” Jeff noted. “We were definitely nervous about paying that deposit during those uncertain times.”

Emily also received academic scholarships, which were a blessing. “We prayed and felt like God had already just laid everything into place for her so we decided to go ahead,” he stated. “Neither her mom nor I had a traditional college experience, and we felt like we missed out on that. We also felt like she would thrive in that type of environment.”

Emily’s mom, dad and siblings—Julia (17), Natalee (15), Alex (12), Oliver (2) and Henry (6 months)—helped with move-in day in August. “That day was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” Jeff confessed. “We made the best of it. We wanted to make it a memorable experience so we were sure to take lots of pictures and spend as much time with her getting unpacked as we could.”

The Mosiers posted this photo when they paid Emily’s housing deposit on April 24, 2020.

Since then, Emily has talked frequently with her family through FaceTime. Gardner-Webb has been everything she thought it would be. “I love this campus. What set Gardner-Webb apart from other colleges for me was the Christian atmosphere,” she reflected. “I also really liked the helpful attention I received from everyone who wanted me to come. And, my family was a large part of my decision to come here. I did not want to be too far from them, but I also wanted to have independence.”

A nursing major, Emily chose healthcare because her sister has cerebral palsy. “Watching the nurses take care of her made a big impact on me and what I wanted to be,” she offered.

Her classes meet both in person and virtually, and the varying schedule has improved her organizational skills. She’s also adapted to wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing in academic and recreational settings. One of her favorite campus activities has been Open Mic Night. “I did not sing, but being with friends and watching others was so much fun,” she said.

Jeff Mosier put this family photo on his Instagram page on July 16, 2020, and said, “Excited to become part of the @gardnerwebb family! #gardnerwebb #skodawgs”

Emily’s advice to high school seniors who will be GWU freshmen in 2021 is don’t stress. “Of course, stay on top of the things you need to do to get ready for college,” she emphasized. “But, the people at GWU are so helpful that there’s no reason to be over stressed.”

Her dad is proud of the way Emily handled the transition to college life with the added uncertainty of COVID-19. “Being the parent of a college student is very different than what I expected … in a good way. It makes me happy that she still wants to talk to me every day,” Jeff affirmed. “It makes me really proud that she has taken this step toward becoming an adult. I am proud of the woman she is becoming.”

At this momentous time in her life, Jeff offers the following advice to his firstborn: “Aspire to be the greatest person you can be. Always seek God’s will. No matter where life takes you, you will always have a place at home.”

a phot of emily mosier and her family on move-in day
Emily Mosier and her family on move-in day in August 2020.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu. 

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