With winter term coming to an end, Queen’s University students are busy moving out of their campus and off-campus residences.
The university sent out a notice on Friday that all students are to pack up and go by 3 p.m. the following day, after their last exam.
For nursing graduates and roommates-turned-best-friends, Alyssa Budge and Stephanie Saunders, that day is today. Emotional, but excited for their next chapter, Saunders says the pandemic impacted their celebration plans.
“You wouldn’t be able to celebrate as you would normally with your friends, so you felt a little more isolated,” said Saunders.
Budge and Saunders say they’ve spent January right up until the end of their studies working at Kingston General Hospital, as per program requirements.
While happy to get hands-on experience, the duo says it was a huge adjustment period learning how to balance coursework and working in a hospital for the first time, especially during a pandemic.
“It was challenging because the roles kept changing based on how the pandemic evolved. Some days we were able to care for COVID patients, and others we weren’t, based on rules and regulations for the day,” Saunders explained.
The duo says that now they’re officially registered nurses, they’re making a move to Ottawa together to practice.
“We’re planning on going to work at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, as registered nurses,” says Budge.
That means they’ll be roommates again, which they are excited about. The graduates say that their program gave them the tools they needed to succeed.
“You had to be able to adapt really fast. But I do think that our program prepared us really well in order to work in this environment,” says Budge.
She explains the professors, hospital, and classmates all worked side-by-side to figure out ways to make sure things were running smoothly and that everyone felt safe.
Queen’s University carefully scheduled 300-400 move-outs from now, until April 29. The university asks that moving students restrict the number of people helping them move to those already in their household, and if hiring a moving company, to not have additional family or friends help.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.