By Jolie Prins
Learning online long term during a pandemic has impacted many students among The University of Tampa. Everyday lives changed in the blink of an eye.
With larger groups of people around you in classes, to interacting with people from an everyday basis, everything changed. Nothing was the same. We started to think that nothing is permanent.
When this pandemic approached, many, even me, were guilty of being extremely stressed and falling behind. Nowadays, it’s like anything. Once you are used to a change, and it affects your everyday routine, you tend to get used to it.
Students are suddenly more comfortable with joining a Zoom call. You participate at the start of your class time, so eating, showering, working out before, it was getting a whole lot easier for most.
Some may even have gotten in the habit of not paying attention with their cameras off just for attendance. This made professors and learning for the students much harder and much easier to fall behind.
“It was my freshman year when the pandemic hit, so coming to college for me was huge. I was always usually around family because that’s how my parents were, so being with other friends my age was something that I really looked forward to,” said Kailin Abbene, sophomore marketing major. “Then we had to pack up and leave and complete school in our at-home environment. Let me just say that was a huge wake-up call and made me realize how much I appreciated being around people in my courses.”
Several reports around many schools in Florida show alarming numbers of kids falling behind, failing classes, or not showing up at all.
Now that president Vaughn announced full face-to-face classes next semester, this will significantly change for many students.
“My family is nervous to send me back to full face-to-face learning after this, especially because they don’t know if everyone is vaccinated. I would rather be in person as I am the type of guy who needs to be in that environment. Still, with that being said, I have gotten to like Zoom and the convenience,” said Thomas Mazias, sophomore undecided major.
Others like Mazias around the UT community have these fears as well. The fear of the unknown with COVID-19 and not getting the learning experience many people came to college for.
I feel as though in-person learning will be a tough transition but extraordinarily beneficial and worth it in your college years. In my opinion, I was a little disappointed when everything happened, and I knew Zoom was going to stay.
It is overwhelmingly clear, virtual learning is just not the same as being in person. In-person, education is way more interactive and group-oriented. Students can meet their teachers face-to-face as well as establish relationships with their classmates to some level.
As many students say, being on Zoom for group projects or just sharing in general over the camera at home is awkward. As far as in person, you can get more of a feel for your environment and peers around you.
Things will be a change for incoming freshmen attending UT or previous students coming back the following semester, but it is slowly getting back to where we used to be.
College, in most eyes, especially mine, are your years to enjoy and work towards the real world. As far as this pandemic, that indeed got in the way for most.
With everything looking up and getting back to social interactions and in-person classes and, most importantly, what UT has to offer is something to look forward to.