Nothing in college is “normal” anymore

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By Meghan Smith

There are many difficult things that have come with going to college in the middle of a pandemic. The biggest challenge for me is keeping track of my confusing class schedule. Out of all my classes, only one has a regularly scheduled class time. Although it is hard to keep all of my class times and locations straight, using my planner and writing everything down has helped a lot. It is also more difficult to find the motivation to do assignments and turn things in on time. With so much learning not taking place in the classroom, sometimes it feels like I’m not in school, even though I am. I have had to work harder than usual to keep up with my class schedule and the new online assignment components.

My college experience has changed due to the pandemic. Before March, there were multiple games to attend a week, events to go to, and people to meet. While all of these things still exist at my college, they aren’t what they used to be. For sporting events, students must reserve tickets in advance, but there is a limited number of spots. Activities are still offered, but everyone must wear a mask and many tasks revolve around COVID-19 themes. Personally, I have found it harder to meet new people. Before classes start, I like to talk to the people around me and get to know them. This is a little harder to do when you are sitting six feet away from the closest person and while wearing a mask that blocks most of your voice. There have been many challenges and changes to my college experience, but McPherson College has done a great job of keeping activities and sports going and trying to maintain their small college atmosphere.

Before the pandemic, there were many events that seemed “normal” to me that I took for granted. Having classes in person was never something special or amazing, but now I realize how important it was to me. Classes have changed to not being in person all the time, and even the one class that is in person seems to have a different atmosphere with everyone wearing masks. Also, going to $2 movie nights at the local theater and bingo is fun, but it seems so different now that you can’t really sit next to people or socialize. Due to changes like these, it has made it harder for me to have a social life in college. Last year, I struggled to find time for fun between all of my classes and involvements on campus. This year, not being able to talk to new people in class or go to as many events has really affected my social life. Although nothing in college is “normal” anymore, I’m just trying to make the most out of my experience.

This is in response to Prompt #2 from Campus ReBoot, an interactive documentary in collaboration with the University of Hartford and other colleges and universities in the US, China, and Australia. For more information and to see other responses, please visit the Campus ReBoot website here: https://susancardillo.wixsite.com/campusreboot

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