Students have made it clear that the transition from in-person learning to online learning has been a challenge. They are still making the most of it by reflecting on what it taught them and what they hope for in future semesters.
“I learned that even given the bad situation, I was able to self-motivate myself while staying positive and creating a new routine that helped me persevere through these times.” Madison Preiser, freshman, said. “I learned that I can be a pretty adaptable person.”
Online learning has forced students to be more disciplined in their studies, as they have to be self-motivated to complete assignments, discussion boards and tests.
It is almost becoming normal to have classes online, but there is a longing to be in-person again for the Fall 2021 semester.
“I really just hope that we can be closer to normal and that my last two years of college can make up for this last year online,” Andrea Winston, sophomore, said.
Students have expressed their desire to be surrounded by their classmates again.
“My hope for Fall 2021 is that we have classes in-person, even if we still have to go the social distance and wear masks. It would just be nice to be in a classroom with others again,” Preiser said.
This shows that students are willing to make sacrifices just to learn the way they did growing up, face-to-face with teachers and fellow students. It serves as a reminder to people that school is about more than academics.
Even when regular classes were in-person, there was not always a ferocity to engage with others. Sometimes classrooms may feel quiet and stagnant, as tired students line the seats. But it is important to remember that classes bound students together as a community.
“I think one thing that I learned about myself from online classes is that I actually find it very valuable to be in a classroom and around people.” Winston said. “Something about being around other students encourages me to learn more and that is the number one thing I miss.”
The transition back to in-person classes may take some adjustment. What was once second nature to students is going to feel new and foreign again.
However, this will not discourage students from embracing what is ahead.
“[Getting back to school] will feel amazing and I will be relieved that we can finally be together safely,” Preiser said. “It will be nice to go out normally and do fun activities without the worry of getting others and myself sick.”
Everything associated with going “back to school” was reinvented this year to adapt to COVID.
However, some students may have adapted to this new reality and enjoyed it or found that it works better for them.
Once in-person classes resume Winston believes that “the classroom vibes will be back.”
I also think that people who learned that they like online classes more will probably continue on that track instead of coming back to in person,” Winston said.
The promise of COVID ending soon is getting everyone back on a track, no matter what it is, and this is celebrated. With a bright future to look forward to, students look ahead while still acknowledging everything the COVID-19 pandemic taught them.