When classes began for the fall 2020 semester, some WVU students opted to spend the semester at home with their families while attending classes virtually.
Those who chose to work from home have faced tough challenges and had to work through new and unexpected situations.
One of the students who chose this alternative was freshman cybersecurity student Joshua Campbell from Parkersburg. He said he came into the semester with high hopes, but has begun to meet new challenges he hadn’t considered.
“It was a challenge to try and focus on my schoolwork with all the distractions I’ve had,” Campbell said.
Schoolwork has been somewhat of a struggle for Campbell, but he said the workload hasn’t been too much for him to handle.
“It was easy to handle, it was just harder to focus on the work,” Campbell said.
Alongside his schoolwork, Campbell works at a local restaurant called Rubi’s, while also trying to spend time with friends and family and finding time to exercise.
With the new, unprecedented challenges he’s faced, there are some positives Campbell has experienced during his time at home.
“I’ve been able to save money, and it’s less stressful for me not having to move up there,” Campbell said. “I can work and make money, too.”
Looking back, Campbell said he would probably have made a different choice if he had a second chance.
“I think looking back, I definitely would have gone up [to Morgantown],” Campbell said. “Even though I liked being at home, it has been hard to focus, and I definitely would have better grades.”
Someone who has an opposite viewpoint to Campbell is Braden Bibbee, a freshman history student from Parkersburg.
Bibbee said although he is happy with his choice to stay home, he has faced his own set of challenges.
“Staying home, you don’t have a chance for in-person questions for teachers,” Bibbee said. “It’s hard to understand the material.”
Bibbee has had trouble with the workload and how overwhelming his busy schedule can be.
“The workload [has] been a little bit overwhelming, because everything is just piling up,” Bibbee said. “A lot of stuff is due on the same day, and it’s not like high school where the teachers can communicate with you.”
Bibbee has also been busy outside of class, working two jobs as a manager at Taco Bell and as a DoorDash food delivery driver. He said he is trying to make money in hopes of getting a car.
Being busy during his daily life and away from the large Morgantown population, Bibbee has been able to feel safer away from the commotion.
“Being at home, you’re not nearly as worried about getting [COVID-19] and you’re not constantly worried about possibly having to quarantine for two weeks in a small dorm,” Bibbee said. “If you’re worried about getting [COVID-19], you can just take the option to stay at home.”
Even if the workload was overwhelming in his busy life, Bibbee believes he made the right decision this semester.
“I honestly think I’m glad I stayed home,” Bibbee said. “It’s just not the college experience I thought I would be having or paying for.”