A Look to the Future: Brielle-Ann Michel on Covid-19 and College

Brielle-Ann Michel is a freshman at Wake Forest University from Raleigh, NC, planning to major in biochemistry. In her free time, Brielle likes to watch YouTube videos, listen to music, and hang out with friends. Recently, Wake Forest announced that it would not start the spring semester until January 27, 2021. This puts many students at home for a minimum of two months between the switch to online learning for the final two weeks of the fall semester and the start of the spring semester. Brielle gives us her take on what she is looking forward to over the break as well as tips to stay connected. 

Her Campus: What are your current plans for the two months we will be learning remotely?

Brielle-Ann Michel: One of my plans is to get my driver’s license since I’ll be turning eighteen in December, and it makes sense to get my full adult license. Also, I plan to apply for an internship at a research firm near me. This research firm focuses on rare diseases like MS or sickle cell and would allow me to shadow people so that I can see if the field is something I want to focus on in my future. Beyond that, I’ll really just be focusing on maintaining a healthy mental state and relaxing. 

HC: What challenges do you expect to encounter with the change to remote learning for the end of the fall semester?

BM: For me, the challenges mostly involve my STEM classes because my chemistry class is face-to-face right now and the lab is blended. So, that’s gonna be kinda challenging for me because for those subjects, I feel like I learn better in in-person environments compared to online. Since the subject matter is very demanding, I hope professors are able to find a way to shift to online without making chemistry a harder class than it already is. 

HC: What are some tips you may have to help students transitioning to entirely online in November? 

BM: I recommend getting a planner or a notebook and writing down everything you have to do for each week. With online platforms like Canvas, a lot of assignments can get lost, especially with the calendar feature. So, if you take time over the weekend and write down what you need to do for the following week, it’ll be way easier to ensure that you don’t have a lot of late or missed assignments. I had to learn this lesson after my first week of classes when I realized how hard it was to keep track of everything. 

HC: How do you plan on staying connected to friends and resources over winter break? 

BM: For resources, I would definitely say that I’ll be using Instagram because most of Wake Forest’s clubs and other departments just post on there. That’s the quickest way to get that sort of info so I’ll be checking on Insta for that. When it comes to friends, I think I’ll be doing a lot of texting. I don’t know how social distancing rules will change over the winter since flu cases will go up and we may go back into North Carolina’s Phase One or Phase Two. It really comes down to what my friends are comfortable with and can do, so maybe a Zoom call for those further away in the country or something socially-distanced for the people that live nearby. 

HC: What are your hopes for the spring semester? 

BM: I am hoping that there will be more face-to-face or blended classes. When I was registering for the fall semester, I thought that there would be at least more blended classes, but it turned out that most of the classes were online. I was kind of disappointed about that if I’m being honest. So, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get in more face-to-face interactions with my peers and professors. I also would like to see more in-person opportunities for clubs since many of the clubs I was excited about joining didn’t really have any programming for this semester. Generally speaking, I hope that the number of cases will improve so that we are able to have more options available for activities in the spring.