A student’s perspective on returning to campus

Rhodes Tower at Cleveland State University. Photo by Connor Mahon

Anonymous Contributor

There has been much excitement concerning the return to campus this semester. According to CSU leadership, on-campus learning was something so invaluable to students, and every student is loving this experience. 

From what I’ve seen, experienced, and heard from my peers, this has been the complete opposite. Students and professors are stressed; there are limited class time options; most classes are extremely full; and not to mention quite a few students don’t follow COVID protocols with no repercussions.

Personally, I have seen students take a mask off to blow their nose in class, then sneeze and cough with their mouth uncovered and continue like nothing has happened.

Transversely, there are serious psychological challenges to this, as students for a year and a half were just cut loose and adapted their learning styles, peer interaction styles, and lifestyles to online learning only to, out of nowhere, go back to class as if everything was normal.

If things are normal and safe, why have a mask mandate? Why remove compassion learning and options for remote learning for people who don’t quite agree with on-campus learning? It seems more that the school is finding value in students being back, rather than students finding value themselves.

Coming back to campus has been a personal challenge after three regular semesters and two summer semesters of fully remote-learning this year. Even more frustrating is the lack of options to remain remote if students are uncomfortable coming back to school right now, and the limited availability of class options for students.

Being in my last semester at CSU, my 300 and 400 level classes all fell on the same days, leaving me with about four to six hours of lectures two days a week. Not to mention each of my classes are full, almost like we didn’t social distance or have some type of pandemic going on the past one and a half years. Couple this with quite a few students not following mask guidelines regularly. But, alas, students have no other choice than to basically just hope they don’t get covid.

From a student standpoint, it seems like the younger students enjoy having some type of “normal” college experience back, but it’s a staunch kick in the gut to non-traditional students who could excel with remote learning. On top of this, it is beyond obvious that professors’ mental health, or what they would have to go through to help transition students back from remote to in-person learning, was not taken into consideration.

I do not speak for everyone, but the university could to a better job facilitating to the various learning styles of students, rather than a shotgun approach to normality.

Author: Cauldron Guest Contributor

This article was written by a guest contributor to The Cauldron. The Cauldron welcomes writers from all academic backgrounds. To write, please send us a message by clicking "Write For Us" at the top of our website.

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