Midterm Burnout: Students struggle with increased workload during pandemic

Professors and students had higher expectations for school this fall. Everyone knew school would look different during a pandemic, but lack of motivation and uncertainty hit harder than anyone expected during midterms.

The Dean of College of Arts and Sciences, Sarah Philips, acknowledged that many people come to Pacific to be with the professors in person and get a quality education, so it has been hard to go through the school year without that. She stated that the logistics of half in-person, half online school has been the hardest part of planning the year. Everyone has been doing their best to make do with the situation, but despite student and faculty efforts, there has been disappointment on both sides. 

Many classes offer a hybrid class where students can be in class through zoom or in person. Although this hybrid option is meant for remote students, professors are seeing students who are on campus taking advantage of zoom.

“I have heard from faculty that students are not coming to class in person even when they can,” said Philips.

Professors want students to come to class so they can feel like they are teaching a normal class, but students don’t seem to agree with these sentiments.“I think professors are failing to realize that nobody really knows how to set a routine right now, so going to class is not a priority,” said sophomore Carmen Bruno.

Bruno said that “sometimes I just want to lay in bed,” which is something all students can relate to. She went on to explain that doing everyday things like being in a large group of people or leaving the dorms is unnatural given how long students have been stuck in isolation. Professors need to understand that sometimes it’s hard to go in person because mentally students do not always have the capacity to spend time in a classroom when they could be in the safety of their dorm room.

“I definitely thought it was easier, but then midterms came around. It’s a lot, especially online. It is hard to adjust to this workload especially since we can’t go to class, go to office hours, or have discussions in person with our peers,” said Bruno.

The conditions students are working under are causing a lot more stress  and it’s also creating a difficult environment to study in. A small light in this situation is that students have been utilizing campus resources such as the tutoring center.

“As we approach midterms, I believe the tutoring center has generally seen an increase in students. I know that as a writing tutor I have been working with more new students as some professors assign midterm essays,” said Riley Stewart, a senior and writing tutor at Pacific. 

This is a silver lining to the stresses of midterms. At least through all of this, students are finding a way to cope with their school work and put their best foot forward. — Marissa Liao

Photo: The conditions students are working under are causing a lot more stress and it’s also creating a difficult environment to study in (Marissa Liao)


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