Graduating in a time dominated by a pandemic is an experience only few can say. It has changed the way we learn, as the performance learning element that makes Millikin unique had to be modified to follow social distancing guidelines. Nursing majors, such as Montana Malmen know this change very well, as a center back for Millikin Women’s soccer team as well as a graduating senior; her last year of the undergraduate year was completely different from what she envisioned.
When talking about the changes within the nursing program she says, “Nursing at Millikin during COVID was definitely an adjustment as well. Back in March when quarantine began we did a lot of case studies and online assessments. However, in the fall, we maintained online classes and testing but were able to return back to the hospitals to care for patients following COVID guidelines!”
Despite her heavy course load and sports career, Montana makes a point to be involved around campus including being a member of Delta Delta Delta, being a Long- Vanderburg Scholar, a member of the Newman Community, My College Buddy, and also works at the Nursing Skills Lab at LSTC.
Throughout all her accomplishments, she points out how playing a sport while being so involved can get to be much at times.
“The most difficult part of playing soccer at Millikin is the balance of school, soccer, and other organizations! At times it can get very overwhelming and stressful to have to study on the bus on the way to a game or get fewer hours of sleep because of a 6 am practice. While this is difficult it has taught me the great skill of time management and has made me a better student!”
As mentioned before, COVID has had a large impact on the life of a college student, especially when it comes to sports.
“COVID has impacted me and my team most by taking away our Fall 2020 season and chance to be in the CCIW championship. In the fall we were able to practice but unable to play games, I didn’t realize how much I missed playing until I stepped onto the field for our first game in over a year this Spring. Thankfully this spring we have been able to have a handful of games and it has been so rewarding!”
The pandemic will seemingly affect even more of her life after college, as after she graduates this upcoming May she plans on taking NCLEX, and moving to the Chicagoland area to work for a hospital.
Through the struggles that came with the last of her undergraduate year, she credits her teammates- who are some of her best friends at Millikin- for making it and her whole college athletic experience the best it could.
“The most rewarding part of playing soccer at Millikin is definitely the relationships I’ve made with my teammates. I know each of my teammates have my back and are some of my best friends. It makes cheering each other on and winning even more fun.”