A Day in the Life of a Rollins Student

By: Andrea Torres

It’s Monday, the busiest day of my week! As a student in the MPH Epidemiology program enrolled in the infectious disease certificate, I must take extra (but really fun) electives. I start my morning off with my 8am alarm. Class doesn’t start ‘till 10 am but I make enough time for an amazing breakfast. I usually like to cook eggs, hashbrown, toast, and oatmeal at home but sometimes I get lazy. There are SO many good breakfast areas around Emory (Starbucks, Kaldis, Einstein’s, Dunkin) but today, I decided to make an oatmeal. After gathering my books and laptop, I put my Rollins school of public health mask on and take a short drive to the Michael St. parking deck. The best part of this parking deck is getting a view of the CDC across the street! I head to my first class in the Grace Crum Rollins building (or GCR as we’ve dubbed it) and am greeted by the smell of delicious food, as the Rollins Café is on the plaza level. My first class is Epidemiology of STDs, an elective option for the ID certificate. 

The class is amazing as we always have guest speakers from the health department and the CDC. They give us a look into how they work on disease surveillance and investigation (contact tracing, recognizing cases, data collection, etc.). The best part about this class and RSPH is that we have many opportunities to network! Many of my classmates and I got to know the guest speakers and got to ask them any questions about their career, job opportunities, and thesis options. I was lucky enough to get an internship through one of our guest speakers, the perks of Rollins! After sitting, participating, and connecting with the congenital syphilis guest speaker, I make my way downstairs to the Rollins café. As a coffee addict, I craved a second cup of coffee (yes, I should definitely cut back) . I realized I was also hungry. Before my Global Health class at 2, I figured I had enough time to meet with my friend Keighly, and eat a delicious meal from Kaldis. Kaldis is my personal favorite food spot on campus, although the Rollins café has an amazing “build your own pasta bowl” and fresh sushi daily. 

We cross Rollins and pass by my favorite study spot, the Woodruff Health Sciences Library. This is where I usually do homework or study between long days on campus, as they have quiet study spaces and cubicles as well as extra computers (both Apple and Windows). Past the library, there is a bridge that leads to the other side of campus as well as Kaldis. Kaldi’s is next to the train tracks at Emory. We go in and I order my usual (egg bagel and peanut butter chocolate smoothie) and because it’s always full inside, we sit outside and enjoy the cool weather. The food is satisfying as always! We spend time on social media catching up before logging onto our online Global Health course. After doing group activities with my assigned group (I’m with 5 other RSPH students assigned to assessing health in Thailand), I grab my stuff and we go back to Rollins for the Epidemiology methods 2 class (this is at 3 pm). We usually meet up with our other friends from Epi, sit outside, and catch up on weekend activities or homework questions (we usually just gossip though!). We make our way into our usual spots in the Claudia Nance Rollins auditorium and get our lecture PowerPoints ready. After an hour and 20 minutes of informative lecture, my friends and I walk out to the plaza, hug, and part ways. 

At the end of a long school day, I am happy to come home to my fiancé and our dog, Coco! We usually cook dinner together and talk about our day. I always have fun stories or interesting facts (from Epi of STDs usually) for him. After dinner, I ponder on starting homework or not. The conclusion is always the same: I’ll get it done tomorrow!

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