When most people picture a typical freshman year of college, they picture dorms, classes, dining halls, and late nights, but for Chas Philips’ atypical freshman year of college, none of these apply.
On a normal day in college, Chas Philips wakes up, grabs his computer, and logs onto zoom for a few hours of class. Once he finishes up his morning classwork, he works out, grabs some lunch, and logs on for an afternoon class. By three, he heads over to the local YMCA for his second workout of the day: another hour of lifting weights followed by an hour of basketball drills with a friend. Afterwards, he heads home, grabs a bite to eat, watches some football, and goes to sleep to repeat the same routine tomorrow.
“I just got the news that my college, Gettysburg won’t be allowing freshmen on campus for the second semester- if you’d told me a few years ago that this was going to be my first year of college, I’d have laughed at you,” Chas said in an interview with the EC Times.
Like many college freshmen, Chas Philips attends Gettysburg college virtually as a first year political science major. A Florida native, Chas transferred to EC his sophomore year at the age of 16, and spent three years at EC until he graduated with the class of 2020. When Chas was forced online due to COVID-19, he knew he had two options; get lost in what he lost, or make the most of a bad situation.
“This isn’t ideal, but I feel like EC prepared me really well to deal with the workload in college,” Chas noted. “I hope I get to be on campus next year, but in the meantime I’ll just do what I can.”
He also noted that he felt like his time at EC prepared him for this in more ways than just academically, saying, “One of my best memories at EC was one that ended up really spiritually encouraging me. It was after Mr. Parker came to speak in chapel; everyone just fully submitted to God and became vulnerable around their peers. For me at that time, it was incredibly encouraging and moving.”
He also said that, “As soon as I got to Gettysburg I looked into and joined a Youth ministry organization. It was the best decision I made: we have Bible studies multiple times a week, and I’ve been able to meet way more people than I would’ve otherwise through that. To all those going into college soon, I’d definitely recommend finding a Bible study.”
When asked how he’d like to be remembered at EC, he said, “I hope that the classes under me remember me as a guy who reached out to help them and treated them equally, not caring about age or grade differences.”