Students adjust to learning, living in the pandemic

Shelby Clark, Staff Writer

From adjusting as a senior to finding one’s place as a freshman, students faced many challenges during the Fall 2020 semester. 

Students are required to adapt to learning during a pandemic. The Fall 2020 semester was the first taste of what a full semester of this type of learning would be like, and students apply their newly found knowledge to the Spring 2021 semester.

Alec Kratzer, senior public relations and advertising major, said he had to adjust to the different atmosphere pandemic learning created. 

“Before, campus was definitely a lot more lively. There were people everywhere all the time. There were more events going on,” Kratzer said. “It’s just a completely different vibe. Everybody seems a little more melancholy, and there’s a lot less going on, and a lot less people here.” 

Kratzer said his first three years were more fun than this year. 

“I think everybody has had [an] increase of mental health issues they’re dealing with,” Kratzer said.

According to Kratzer, professors have been more understanding this semester and have been more lenient with their students.

Kratzer said adjusting to hybrid classes was a challenge for both professors and students. He said each professor had to decide what hybrid meant to them, and then, the students had to juggle each different version of hybrid classes. 

Kratzer said he feels Zoom has made professors less accessible. 

“They have Zoom office hours, but it just seems more of a hindrance to use that office hour in comparison to normal office hours,” Kratzer said. 

He said in general people are annoyed with Zoom, even though they understand it. 

“I understand why we use Zoom, and I understand as far as safety,” Kratzer said. “So, I just have to tell myself that if I get a little irritated with it.” 

Krazter said he had to adapt his study habits for the online format. One thing Krazter changed was the time he spent studying in the library. Krazter spent less time there during the Fall 2020 semester because the library required reservations. 

Delaney Radicane, freshman special education major, feels that COVID-19 hindered her freshman college experience

Radicane said COVID obviously impacted her semester with the switch from in-person classes to online and social distancing. 

Radicane was able to join student organizations such as Emerging Leaders and Tri-Sigma. 

“Overall, like I had a lot of fun,  I met like a ton of friends, and it was pretty good for a freshman with a pandemic going on,” Radicane said. 

Radicane said she feels having the option of Zoom made professors more accessible and less accessible at the same time. Because Radicane did not use Zoom in high school, she feels she had to adjust to this new way to learn during the Fall 2020 semester. 

“It’s awkward on Zoom,” Radicane said. “I’ve realized no one wants to talk to anybody.”

“This is a new experience, but I still ask questions,” Radicane said. “I still talk to everybody, but it’s just very awkward still, even with the teacher.”

Radicane believes that professors made adjustments due to COVID-19 that benefit the students. 

“Sometimes, I still don’t feel prepared since it’s online and it’s just, it’s just very different” Radicane said. “I think this semester has gone a lot better, since this first semester is a whole new experience.” 

Preston Coots, freshman finance major, said that as a freshman he adjusted well to the Fall 2020 semester because he did not have a previous semester at the university to compare it to.

“I just started out like this, so this is all I know,” Coots said. 

Coots said he thought there were a few benefits to the semester such as being able to wake up, turn on the computer and be in class. 

“I don’t think it’s been super stressful,” Coots said. “Everything is online, so I don’t have to worry about being disorganized, because the computer organizes everything for me.” 

Coots said that one of the challenges with online classes is the inability to walk up and start a conversation with someone. 

“It’s hard to engage with a person when it’s over webcam,” Coots said.