It is very evident that living on campus during a pandemic is not the ideal college experience. Most of the classes, if not all, are online, there are many restrictions in the dining hall, limited social interaction with peers, and the list goes on and on. Of course, I had the option of completing my semester at home, but I wanted to make the most of what college should be. The main reason I came back is because I am an RA and I want to fulfill those duties. With that being said, I am going to make the best of this semester.
Virtual learning, in my opinion, has so many downfalls. To begin, personally, I feel as though I am not learning anything. What I am “learning” is how to submit assignments by 11:59pm. In addition, the majority of my classes are asynchronous which means that there are no scheduled zoom meetings to actually be taught the material and I am just assigned due dates to submit the assignments. More importantly, I HAVE TO TEACH EVERYTHING TO MYSELF. How do professors really expect us to get an A and succeed in their class without physically teaching us anything? The most they do, is post recorded lectures on Blackboard. THAT DOES NOT HELP. For the classes that are synchronous, they are a little better and I feel as though I am more likely to succeed in those classes. I can ask the professor questions over Zoom and it is essentially a much more effective communication system. But overall, “Zoom University” is a joke.
Next up is the dining hall. Because I am an RA, I am entitled to a meal plan and I’m not going to lie, the food has been literal garbage. They serve chicken tenders and fries everyday. EVERYDAY! Besides that, the food is barely ever seasoned properly or just does not taste good. Besides eating in the dining hall, there is a take out option where we can order what we want off of the GET app. I have two complaints about that: the orders are usually backed up so it takes forever to get your meal or the food is usually cold. This makes me not want to eat in the dining hall at all, which results in me spending extra money to buy food. The reason I do not use my dining dollars for delivery is because I designate it to buy Starbucks every morning. So essentially, I view it as a $180 Starbucks gift card. This concludes that the dining hall has definitely degraded in quality, and that I miss all the good meals that they used to serve.
Lastly, to end my rant, it has been very hard to hang out with friends. The majority of my friends live in The Village and I have been trying my best to meet up with them as best as I can. We sometimes take local drives, walk around the lake, or be as cautious as possible when going to each others’ residences. With the lack of social interaction, I have noticed I have been much more depressed and lonely. It is not a great feeling and I really hope that college life does not stay like this for much longer.
Moral of the story is that everything needs to go back to normal. We are not being taught what we need to further our careers and it is pretty scary. I can just imagine what life will be like when I get out of college. Will life still be like this? Will school still be all online? Will there be jobs available to us when we graduate? Unfortunately, none of us know the answers to these questions, but it is essential to stay optimistic and have a positive outlook that everything will take its course and work out. As of right now, I have to make sure to do well in these classes and make college the best experience possible for myself.