Goodbye for now

Goodbye for now

Coronavirus upends a pair of freshmen's plans to stay in Syracuse for spring break.
Published: March 15, 2020
Lilly Chidlaw-Mayen hangs out while Emily Burris packs a bag to go back to Florida.
Lilly Chidlaw-Mayen, right, hangs out Sunday while Emily Burris packs a bag to return to Florida during spring break.

Emily Burris paced back and forth from her closet to her paisley-printed duffle bag. With little deliberation, she grabbed a cotton button-up shirt, folded it into her bag, then turned around to grab another.

“I’m packing just clothes for two weeks,” Burris said. “That’s kind of my plan.”

“I think clothes are the main priority, honestly,” Burris’ girlfriend Lilly Chidlaw-Mayen chimed in.

The freshmen couple who live in Brewster, Boland and Brockway Halls thought they were going to stay on campus, do homework and make it a casual spring break.

But like so many other Syracuse University students, their plans changed last week when coronavirus fears prompted administrators to move classes online until at least March 30.

Emily's bag to return home.

Burris' bag for traveling home to Florida.

Emily Burris looks in her drawers for clothes to pack to take home.

Burris looks in her drawers for clothes to pack to take home.

Chidlaw-Mayen, who caught a flight home to Sherman Oaks, California, on Sunday, said the excitement of seeing her family outweighs any worries about the health pandemic. The graphic design major is particularly happy to see her two little brothers, who she wasn’t expecting to see until May.

“(Leaving campus) is bittersweet, for sure,” Chidlaw-Mayen said. “But I’ve kind of been thinking of it as we’re all going to see each other again — whether it’s in a month or a couple of months.”

Burris, who’s headed to Tavares, Florida, is thrilled to see her beagle Sadie. Her family already had planned an outing trip at a beach that allows dogs.

Also, as a welcome-home gift, her grandmother got her a Fujifilm T20 camera. The photography major had so far been borrowing Chidlaw-Mayen’s camera for course work so is now looking forward to capturing photos and memories back home for the time being.

“I’m not thrilled about (leaving Lilly), especially because we’re used to seeing each other every day,” said Burris. “I’m treating it as another Christmas break if that makes sense.”

Lilly listens to Emily talk about what she will need to do for classes once they are put online.
Chidlaw-Mayen listens to Burris' talk about what she will need to do for classes once they move online.