As a freshman, I’ve spent the last year and a half doing online learning. I’ve been learning through prerecorded lectures, online course modules and textbooks, and to be honest with you, I don’t really know what to expect from in-person classes next year. I’ve never actually taken an in-person college class and have no idea what a traditional school year looks like. I know I’m not the only person who feels overwhelmed and confused about how the 2021-2022 academic year will go, as many other freshmen share these concerns.
Of course we are glad that classes are going back to the way they should be. We absolutely do not want another year of online classes; however, we do need additional assistance and guidance to help ease the transition from mostly virtual to fully in-person classes.
When registering for courses, I genuinely had no idea how to plan my schedule. I used Google Maps to figure out the distance between all my classes and map out my class schedule. Many freshmen still have no idea how to get around campus. In addition to this, many students begin to have classes on both Centennial Campus and Main Campus starting sophomore year. It’s hard for us to figure out how to get to Centennial Campus when we barely even know our way around Main Campus. Course registration was incredibly stressful for many freshmen simply because we had no idea what we were doing.
While we are required to have an advising session before registering for courses, these sessions mainly cover which classes we should take based on our academic path, not logistics of how to get to and from classes, whether certain classes will be inaccessible to students who are unable to get Centennial Campus and the rest of the nitty gritty we don’t have answers to.
In addition to navigating to and from classes, many freshmen are concerned about how they’ll be able to adjust from learning course material online to learning in person. We aren’t used to taking notes, actively listening and being in an in-person environment during classes. Professors and teachers can’t expect students to be able to immediately shift to this mode of learning. There must be some sort of a learning curve established to allow not just freshmen, but all students, to adjust their way back into in person forms of learning.
Online classes have mentally drained students. We are tired, exhausted and desperately looking forward to the summer break. Virtual learning has made college and school stressful, exhausting and difficult. Our view of college has significantly shifted and our relationship with learning has taken a hit. Professors must be aware of how difficult this transition can be for some students and help them accommodate. All students need is a sense of understanding from their professors for this upcoming school year. We cannot be expected to instantly and seamlessly transition to a completely new form of learning. Teachers, professors and the University must offer additional resources and assistance to help ease this transition.