A Month Back at College

Hey, pretty girl!

Well, it’s official, I’ve been back to school a month without getting sent back home. I definitely did not think that I would still be on campus still by this point in the semester. I’m grateful that my university has taken the necessary steps to keep us all safe and on campus this semester. Looking back at my time since move in, I’d like to reflect on my experiences so far on campus during a pandemic through the five things I’ve noticed so far.

1.In-person classes feel eerie.

I might be alone on this one, but I honestly have preferred going to my zoom courses. I feel like zoom sessions have become a lot more personable than spring. Students are required to turn on their cameras in most of my courses and professors are making an effort to spend time getting to know one another. In person just feels…off. Sitting apart in a mostly empty classroom while my professor records the lecture almost feels uncomfortable. Not to mention that when someone has a case of covid in our in-person lecture, we can’t even come to class. With courses that don’t utilize zoom and can no longer attend in person, I feel incredibly distant from the professor and the course itself.

2.The dining hall options are majorly lacking.

I’ll be honest, I’m pissed about the dining situation this fall at UST. For students who don’t feel comfortable eating in the dining hall, our option is to go food that severely limits our choices. There are no longer options of picking an entree from one section and sides from another. This makes it incredibly difficult to find food you enjoy, food that fills you up and food that isn’t altogether unhealthy. With the closing of my favorite dining dollar location as well (rip scooter’s) for the semester, I became increasingly upset at figuring out how I will actually utilize my meal plan to the fullest extent like I had in the past.

3.My homework load has dramatically increased.

Okay professors, I get it, you want us to really learn the material since we aren’t right in front of you. However, many of my professors have been assigning lecture videos, homework and requiring that we attend a zoom course on top of that. When I’m doing double the lecture time (videos and zoom), it leaves me with minimal time to actually complete the homework and understand what I am doing. Instead of letting us have time to actually learn, I feel as if professors are filling up our already busy schedules (life can be busy even during a pandemic).

4.Residence Halls are very quiet and shut off.

Maybe this is just what happens when you move to the apartments on campus, but I’ve met hardly anyone on my floor. Honestly, it’s rare to actually run into anybody outside of their room. While this is a good thing for covid, I believe that at least meeting your neighbors is important. I feel sad that this year has not allowed me to connect with more people like I did last year. I’m hoping that as the year goes on, I’ll be able to connect with people outside of my own apartment.

5.Exploring the city without the pressure of partying is relieving.

Okay, this one is actually a benefit to the coronavirus. I feel like the pressure of going out and partying has been severly reduced this semester. Obviously both of these options are not safe when following the campus prepardness plan to a T, but beyond this, I believe it has helped me to reevaluate my behavior on campus. I’m glad that I can now partake in activities with my friends that are less crazy but, instead, help connect me to my community better. For example, while I would usually spend a Saturday partying and watching the football game, I had the opportunity to visit a gorgeous Apple House in Victoria, Minnesota with Jack. It’s small things like this that I am grateful for.

With Love, Marin

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