With colder weather coming and many classes continuing online, students are adjusting to the first week back on campus. For one freshman, who has all her classes online, the shift to all online classes has been difficult to maneuver.
“It’s a lot harder,” said Lauryn Baker, a freshman nursing student. “I was expecting to have at least a few of my classes online just as before, but having everything online is hard to adjust back to, especially because some of my teachers don’t even lecture, so I’m stuck on a screen, with little to no direction or instruction.”
Although some classes were online last semester for freshmen, many first-year students had a mix of in-person and online classes. However, many classes have been moved completely online this semester, causing students to further adapt to a new learning environment.
“In person classes make me feel more connected with the criteria I’m learning,” Baker said. “Sitting and looking at a screen for hours upon end with no one talking back to you in some instances can sometimes feel like I’m not learning anything at all.”
For upperclassmen who have been remotely online since last semester, the adjustment doesn’t feel as extreme.
“I think it’s actually a bit easier to adjust to online classes this semester,” said Kaeli Ricottilli, a sophomore journalism student. “We were kind of thrown online last spring, and by fall there were still catches and unforeseen issues. Now, I think everyone is pretty much used to it, so it’s a little more comfortable.”
However, many students feel adjusting back to campus second semester is more difficult than before.
“The first semester was great for me,” Baker said. “Transitioning from online high school to partially online university/hybrid classes was a step up in the right direction. Now having to adjust back to completely online feels as if I’m taking a leap back for sure.”
According to Ricottilli, the online setup sometimes makes it hard to get into the right headspace and treat it like a regular learning environment.
With the weather being unpredictable, it can be a challenge for students to get together and interact in a socially distanced environment, too.
“Cold weather in general makes me unmotivated to go outside, adding that my classes are all online, I feel confined to my dorm, or at least to a space that has indoor wifi,” Baker said.
Regardless of whether or not students are happy to have more classes online, the second semester is bound to be different than last during such unprecedented times.
“I think it’s easier for me to get into the swing of things this semester,” Ricottilli said. “Last semester was the first with classes that were actually planned to be online, but there were still adjustments to be made. There were also a lot of firsts for everyone last semester and a lot of questions that could only be answered by experiencing something and adjusting from there.”