Today: Apr 21, 2024

Back to school brings new changes for students

Essence BoydOnline Editor

After being abruptly sent home in March due to COVID-19, students have returned to campus five months later to a similar yet different environment.

From the abundance of plexiglass everywhere to outside classrooms, the numerous changes happening in the world and on-campus left students, especially first-years, feeling overwhelmed.  

According to social work major Leeasya Lindsey, a freshman, having to complete her last year of high school online took many memories that she can never get back. However, coming to campus gave her the opportunity to make new ones.

“Not having a senior year negatively affected my emotional balance and I thought going on-campus was needed for me,” said Lindsey.

For other students like clinical psychology major Donovan Danks, a freshman, moving on-campus has been exciting and a challenge at the same time.  

“It’s definitely an interesting experience with this being my first year having to navigate around campus while having to follow these guidelines can be very tricky,” said Danks.

For many students having to move online last semester was foreign to them as it challenged their ability to learn in new ways.

According to Danks, adjusting to online learning was difficult as school is meant to be in- person. 

“It was a challenge having to completely switch online and I think for a lot of people it was kind of this weird thing that wasn’t really meant to be,” said Danks.  

Although campus has reopened and students have returned to in person classes, the United States, and the world, remain in crisis.

In order to make students feel safe while on campus the university has made many changes, some more noticeable than others.  

Some of these changes include the social distancing of desk, the removal of triple style dorms and the end of self-served food.

For some students, these changes have made them feel safer on campus.

“I feel like [the plexiglass] helps maintain safe social distancing,” said social work major Craigrianna Goleing, a freshman.

According to exercise science major Jettke Gray, a sophomore, the changes made have left her conflicted, but she is willing to adapt to all of the new policies on campus.

“[Southern’s new appearance] is a little bit upsetting, but I understand, and I am willing to take the precautions needed,” said Gray. “It’s the norm now with this situation.”

In addition to being required to wear mask while on campus, students are also being required to complete a daily COVID-19 screening provided by health services which monitors the status of their health.  

“I do feel safe, I feel that these guidelines and what everyone is doing is really great and everyone is wearing a mask,” said Banks.

Others said that the university has made the necessary adjustments to keep its students safe and changes made were necessary.  

“I feel a lot better knowing that we have to wear mask and have required COVID test because that means that we are all being safe and following protocol,” said Lindsey. 

Although the university is trying to keep students safe,  closing again is a possibility with the threat of COVID-19 still ongoing and this time around, students said they are prepared.

“It wouldn’t bother me,” said Gray. “The teachers are very helpful in those situations and they understand the frustration of things as well.” 

Photo credit : Essence Boyd

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