Over winter break, many students, including myself, were unsure if we would be able to return to in-person classes this spring. I remembered checking my email every day, waiting for a message informing the students that we would return to online learning. Much to my happiness, the email never came.
It may be a controversial opinion, but I was excited to continue in-person learning. Fall semester was my first time in nearly 2 years of being able to physically go to class on campus. I do however understand why students may be nervous to continue in-person because of how contagious the newest Covid-19 variant is. I am still a little nervous about it, but I am comforted by the continued mask enforcement and that 98% of the student body is vaccinated.
I feel that having class in person keeps me motivated and more engaged with the course material. Zoom fatigue made it difficult to stay focused on the lesson and completely asynchronous classes made me procrastinate. I have definitely seen an improvement in my work ethic since returning to campus.
There are also the personal, human, interactions I get to have with my fellow students. Like many, the pandemic made me feel especially isolated as there was a lack of opportunity for socializing with my peers. In-person learning allows me to organically interact with my peers both in and outside the classroom. From clubs to school events to simply grabbing a coffee at the UC. Continuing to keep campus open has renewed a sense of community.
My favorite part of being in-person is having in-person events. Club events, ensemble concerts, and various cultural events. Although these events were offered online via Zoom, going to the events in person is much better. It allows you to meet new students and gain new experiences that are not the same over Zoom.
Overall, continuing in-person classes is a decision that the school has made that I am happy with. I do understand that some have reservations, but I think that it is worth it in the end. — Jazmine Henning