After the first two weeks of Zoom classes, the dust from transitioning to online lectures has begun to settle. We reached out to first-year students to ask how they’ve been adjusting to online college so far.
Elizabeth Oey: Adjusting to online classes has been somewhat difficult because I learn better in person. It takes me about double the amount of time to listen to a lecture because I always end up pausing the video to take notes. However, I have found it useful to stick to the same schedule as I would if I were still on campus so that I don’t fall behind.
Rusama Haque: Personally, I feel grateful for being able to live on campus and continue my classes, but adjusting to class has been a struggle indeed. Finding the balance between procrastination and schoolwork, and having to study in a non-productive area such as my room have been some struggles I’m actively working on. Though online exams make it more flexible for everyone, it also makes the grading criteria tougher for several classes. Thus, even though technology is helping us continue getting an education in this tough time, we all need to understand each other’s struggles and take time to get used to this new way of life.
Rebecca Hibbard: Adjusting has been stressful because I now lack motivation to do any work. I am struggling to focus on lectures when I know I can hide my face behind the screen. Tests have been really strange off campus because it feels so informal and disconnected from the material. Open notes have also been a struggle because I think it is easier to learn how to take the test rather than knowing the material. Like any new experience, I think it will take time to understand the meaning of all of this, but overall I believe something good will come out of this. We just don’t know what that is yet.
Jojo Rosenbluth: Online lectures aren’t too bad, but it is a lot harder for me to focus on my schoolwork without friends there to do it with. Tests are nicer to do at home in my opinion because I am given more time and they are less stressful.
Eugene Son: Online classes have been going ok. The only difficult part is just the time zone difference. I live in Hawaii and I’m six hours behind. Lectures aren’t too bad because it’s recorded but labs, writing, and workshop classes have been challenging ‘cause it’s all around 6 a.m. I think labs are just harder in general because I don’t have the network of being around other students who are doing the same thing. I find myself spending a lot more time trying to write these lab reports because I typically have to wait an entire day to get feedback either from a TA or another student. The resources aren’t the same online as on a physical campus.
Brent Ramsammy: Zoom classes are a hassle to connect to and the interface does not provide a pleasant experience. The means of our educational experience is in the hands of internet connection — if yours is worse then good luck. It takes out all the fun from the practicality of classes and hands-on learning.
Phuong Le: Online classes for me are going pretty well except for the fact that I sometimes zone out while staring at the screen and sometimes my wifi betrays me and I have to leave a class and join again. I had to go back home as it would be safer for me to stay at home than at our campus. This means that my schedule is reversed, with an 11-hour difference. This has made it difficult to attend classes when they are happening, which can make me be lazy and neglect watching the recorded lectures.
These responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.