Dear Warrior, Class of ‘24:


I think we can all agree that 2020 has thrown us many curveballs. And perhaps the biggest curveball yet is the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Maybe this is your first time leaving home. Maybe the current “college experience” isn’t what you pictured. Maybe you want to go back and return to a familiar place.


I don’t blame you for having these thoughts.


So, let’s be honest with ourselves: right now, times are tough. But if we’re being fully honest with ourselves, then we also must recognize that things will get better.


I understand that becoming a college student is a big deal–and you likely waited a while to finally enjoy the title. 


But just like you were patient with yourself to get to where you are now, I want you to be patient with yourself yet again.


So, here are three reminders as you embark on this unprecedented journey.



1. You are not alone.


Everyone can use some help sometimes. That’s why WSU offers a wide variety of free support services for students of all levels.

Counseling Services


A healthy body starts with a healthy mind. 


Check in with your mental health, and reach out to our confidential counselors online or in-person if you want to talk to someone. 


We are here for you.

Health & Wellness Services


If you start experiencing symptoms of the virus, everything is going to be okay. 


Ping our Ask-a-Nurse Message Line and book a wellness appointment to get tested. Our nurses will also give you guidance on your next steps of care. 


We are here for you.

Technical Support & Other Academic Support Services


When technology is more important than ever for your learning, the last thing you need to worry about is tech issues. So, contact Tech Support and let our experts troubleshoot your device.


Then contact the Warrior Success Center if you want to explore a major, get help with coursework, or even search for a job


We are here for you.



2. You can still graduate on time.


You may be wondering if taking online or hybrid classes sets you back for graduation. And I’m happy to share that it doesn’t.


Before this semester began, our faculty put a lot of thought when converting in-person courses to online and hybrid options. Although your learning may look a little different, you’re still getting the same quality education as you would have before the pandemic.


Plus, you’re still earning academic credit and progressing toward graduation. Sure, the pandemic has upended many plans–but the good news is that you don’t have to put your education on hold because Winona State is ready for you.



3. You don’t have to sacrifice your social life.


Making friends is another layer of the college experience you don’t want to miss out on, and luckily you don’t have to. Even now, there are many ways to safely socialize with potential friends and existing ones. 


You can connect with peers in your graduating class or in your residence hall. You can also get to know your classmates by using D2L. But if you’d like a break from using your computer, no worries. There’s plenty of outdoor favorites that you can do without leaving Winona. 


In other words, you can still make friends, my friend.


(However, I highly encourage you to avoid small or large in-person gatherings, especially without wearing a protective face covering.)



One more reminder: celebrate the little things. You made it through your first week of college during a global pandemic–you should be proud of yourself. I know I am!


With these tools, I’m confident that you will overcome homesickness. 


And if we each do our part with taking care of ourselves and looking out for others, then we will overcome this pandemic together.


Yours truly,

Hailey — Warrior, Class of ‘20