Is there a light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic? Some may say perhaps due to the return of in-person classes. While a fully in-person class schedule was once considered “normal”, this can certainly feel a little different after all this time communicating through a computer screen.
Ariella Lafayette, a junior majoring in political science, said she was thrilled to be experiencing a mostly “normal” semester. She did, however, address some challenges regarding the transition to being back in classroom settings.
“It’s been a little difficult readjusting to actually attending classes in person and being in classrooms full of people,” Lafayette said.
Lafayette also discussed how the return to in-person classes has made the workload feel heavier and has led her to feel more stress. Getting back in the swing of things can be an exciting yet challenging experience. “Getting readjusted to different time management with less sleep and a stricter schedule feels like another assignment,” said Lafayette.
Harper Dillard, a sophomore double majoring in marketing and finance, said she has also found the transition somewhat challenging. Even though she lived on campus last year, most of her classes were online. “Being in a classroom is a different experience because it is harder to pay attention to the lessons being taught,” Dillard said. While this is a challenge, she said she is happy to be back in the classroom because it has made it easier for her to get to know her peers and professors.
Myles Mooyoung, a freshman majoring in sports administration, discussed how the transition has felt very odd to him. Prior to this semester, for Mooyoung, in-person classes at school did not require a mask, so getting used to the mask mandate has been an adjustment.
Mooyoung said that he became used to attending classes online which made the transition back to in-person classes a bit of an adjustment. He said he enjoyed the luxury of being able to attend his classes virtually and in his pajamas.
Lulu Muscarello, a freshman on the pre-med track with a major in neuroscience, also shared some of the challenges that she has faced while navigating this transition. She said that the transition has been more difficult than she thought it would be. Muscarello emphasized that with the inability to learn face to face for the past two years, “Students lost valuable and key information in terms of academics and life.”
Muscarello also discussed how she did not have to pay as much attention in class or study as much when attending classes online, making it seem arbitrary to listen to what the teacher says.
The final challenge that Muscarello discussed was how quickly teachers jumped into material this semester, even though we practically missed two years. “People seem to be in such different places in terms of academics, so it’s hard to know who has learned what and who hasn’t,” said MuscarelloAfter hearing about the positive and negative aspects of the transition back to in-person learning, it seems evident that while people are excited for the normal UM experience, there have also been some challenges. The transition can be overwhelming and uncomfortable, but it is safe to say that you are not alone! Everyone is trying to acclimate themselves with the way things used to be, pre-pandemic, and it is probably going to take a little bit of adjusting before things feel completely normal again.
words_erin rogers. design_canva.