As the first somewhat regular semester ends, my perception of Monmouth University has changed since last year. I came to Monmouth University when it was all online with minimal to no hybrid classes. While the online format of Monmouth University for the years 2020 to 2021 was convenient, it was significantly lackluster. There were barely any Monmouth events or sports games, and it felt overall lonely. Since the school has mandated the vaccine and COVID cases have been generally on decline, although we are seeing some uptick in cases in the last couple of weeks here in the Northeast, it feels almost normal again. The most significant change has been lifting face masks around campus beside the classroom. It is somewhat weird to see everyone’s faces again after wearing masks.
Perhaps we will not have to wear masks while attending classrooms next year, but for those who do want to be extra cautious and continue to wear masks, there is nothing wrong with that. What I have learned about the whole college experience is that whatever you put into something is what you will get out of it. I had enjoyed the past two semesters a lot more than I had when everything was online. While the occasional 8:30 a.m. class for a 3-hour lecture can sometimes be challenging, I would not trade it over Zoom. I like meeting my professors, going to office hours if I need help, and sitting down to learn the material to help me in my future career. The one thing I am still trying to adjust to is talking amongst my classmates. For the most part, people have made their connections and friendships, so at times, it feels awkward to try and talk to new people. Especially when given class projects where you have to work together, you don’t know anything about the people you are working with. That is something that I will have to adjust for the future. A big piece of advice that I think all students should listen to is to use all the resources Monmouth has to offer and take advantage of them while you can. Students are paying to go here. It only makes sense to use all that Monmouth offers during this period. While setting up appointments for help might be inconvenient, you may feel discouraged from doing so. There is nothing to be ashamed about in asking for help. The only person who overly cares about it is you. No one should shame you for reaching out for extra assistance or clarification, and it is a part of life. If you don’t understand something at a job, you aren’t going to risk your job security by not asking for help. Take advantage of Monmouth’s writing services, tutoring services, and connection services. If you are ever feeling down about something or feeling stressed about schoolwork or anything else that is bothering you, the counseling services at Monmouth University have some great people who are willing to help you.
College is challenging at times with all the exams, papers, extracurricular activities, greek life, and maintaining a social life. However, there are people in your life who genuinely want you to succeed and have the best time of your life while attending college. Whether it be parents, friends or the professors at Monmouth University, people want you to prosper in this environment. The journey will be more challenging at times, that’s true. I am already halfway through my career at Monmouth, and I honestly feel more mentally drained than anything else. While I enjoy my classes, I am tired of the non-stop work from each class and can’t wait for this upcoming break to refresh my mind. As tired as I am, I can’t wait to see what my junior year of college will be like in an even more normal school environment.