To state the obvious, this year school is going to be totally different than what we’re used to. What was once a time of moving back to campus, partying with your friends before classes start, and shopping for new school supplies, is now something completely foreign to many of us. Whether directly or indirectly, this pandemic has impacted us all.
Although these times are going to take some getting used to, a lot of students still yearn for the university experience that they would typically get in person. Let’s be real, it’ll never be the same through our computer screens as it would’ve been on campus. As useful as Zoom can be, it doesn’t replace the community vibes that pulse through campus.
As with everything in life, having the year online has its pros and cons. The most obvious con being the fact that nothing is being held on campus – even if you’re living there! There is something about studying in class buildings that motivates you like no other. Being surrounded by fellow hard-working students pushes you to be more focused, it actually feels like school. The transition from having all those options to only having the choice of studying at home leaves quite the impact. Sure, students did study at home at times, of course they did, but the lack of options is what makes studying at home super unappealing, which can hinder how successful a student may be.
Besides being confined in your own home, we’re also missing out on in-person lectures, one-on-one office hours with professors, and club meetings. The easiest way to make new friends at a large institution is through classes and clubs, which we don’t have access to this year. That being said, although it is significantly different, there are efforts being made by some amazing people to continue these experiences COVID style!
Now, this is something we’ve read quite a few times in the numerous emails we’ve received from the school, but something crucial to remember is that we are ALL affected by the pandemic. Lifestyles have dramatically shifted for our parents and our professors, not just students. As frustrating as Zoom classes may get, keep in mind that we are all struggling to acclimate to these new systems in place.
A lot of popular clubs are coming up with new and impressive ways to still fulfill our beloved university experiences. As odd as it may seem, having club meetings over Zoom is actually pretty cool. In a way, it may even be better for some people than meeting in person. You have the option of only using audio, or even just typing messages into a chat instead of talking – for my introverts and socially anxious people, now is your time to shine! Plus, there’s a fun little button at the bottom right corner of any Zoom meeting called, “Leave Meeting.” If you’re not feeling it anymore, boom, you’re out with the click of a button! It’s that easy, don’t be hesitant to get involved – it’s still possible!
As we all try our best to make these new routines feel normal, at least we are going through the struggles together. We can all relate to each other, and find common ground to support those around us for as long as this may go on for. As I say with any situation not in our own control, it is what it is. With times like this, the only thing you can do it accept the new reality and deal with it accordingly – there are no other options.
With that being said, welcome back to another year, COVID edition.