“Different, different”

Profile: Maura Langella ‘20


taken by Claudia Langella '18

Maura stands in front of the main office at her graduation.

After arriving home from a shift at Nekter, the juice place where she is a “artizan bowl crafter,” Maura Langella ’20  received an email stating her college, Johns Hopkins University, would be fully online for the fall semester with no on-campus housing. 

With the majority of her friends going to start their freshman year of college on campus, Maura found herself in her hometown, flooded with massive amounts of school work, with only a few friends left around. 

Many of her peers scrambled to find an apartment for their virtual college experience, not Langella. She felt no such rush, and confesses that she was just “so happy to be home.” She enjoys spending time with her parents, being able to handle her stress in private, and most importantly, having her own car. 

Once all of Langella’s friends said their goodbyes and went off to live their brand new lives at school, she found herself crying every night after dinner for nine days straight. 

“I’m so stressed and there is no way for me to communicate with other kids; I don’t have friends. It’s so hard trying to make friends through a zoom screen.”

Alone in Lower Gwynedd, the town that once inhabited her grade school and high school friends, Langella fills these empty moments taking drives to Philly in her Volkswagen Bug to clear her mind.

Langella, a vocal performance major, always knew her college experience was going to be “different.” Now, to make herself feel better, she describes her current experience as “different, different.” 

When asked what the hardest part about her major was, she said “literally everything”. She has been presented with even more difficulties with being fully online. Typically, college freshmen are concerned with buying comforters and mini-fridges, not Langella.  She’s had to invest over 1, 500 dollars on high-quality headphones, mic, and software.

Langella finds herself jealous of her friends who get to go out, meet new people, and experience a college town, saying, “not to sound selfish, but that should be me–  I should be out making new friends”. To her, making new friends is seemingly the thing she is missing the most from her college experience. 


While spending the first semester of her freshman year stuck in the suburbs of Philadelphia wasn’t Langella’s ideal college experience, she has figured out how to make the most of these times. Everyone is learning to adapt to these new times in their own ways, and Langella has found her own ways to cope with the difficulties her freshman year has presented.