While I am happy that the University is taking precautions due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19, I hope that the Spring semester does not go entirely virtual. I experienced for the first time last semester having to go to class every week, and even though I had a few 8 a.m. classes, I still enjoyed the aspect of meeting my teachers in person and getting to know my classmates through an in-classroom experience. It is so difficult to make a connection with people through Zoom. It is also difficult to keep paying attention to your classes while online. I feel thhat I get too distracted by things around me. I felt so bored while online for the first week back.
I really wanted to meet my professors in person and tell them about myself and what I wanted to get out of their class. While it is more convenient to have the ability to just jump on a class from wherever you are in the world, I find that I do not grasp the material the teacher is providing me. I cannot connect with my classmates, especially in break-out rooms. Even walking around campus this past week seemed so empty.
I remember when the University was all online for a year there were barely any people on campus, but last semester there were so many people just out and about walking on campus and hanging out with their friends. I have never seen the student center more packed with barely any seats, or coaches to sit on.
I finally feel like I am getting the college experience that my parents and friends talk about before COVID. I don’t want to lose this feeling of enjoyment by going back to an all-online setting. I know that the University must put the students’ health and safety first especially with the new variant being so contagious. However, I hope that when students return to in-person learning, the Covid cases at our campus will not rise sharply.
I also hope that students will not make the same decisions as they have done previously to cause the entire University to go into a full-scale lockdown for two weeks. I know that people only get to experience college once and that people want to make the most out of their experience here at Monmouth, but they can do so in a safe manner. I feel that if people are as mature as they say they are then people can adhere to the rules that have been put in place regarding COVID and still have an enjoyable time without causing a severe spread of the virus.
I feel that ever since online learning started, people took for granted in person learning as much as people complain about going to classes and waking up early I believe people would rather in-person to online learning. We will be returning to in person class on January 25 and I hope it stays that way for the future of the spring semester.