Compared to last semester and the one before it, this semester has been much better and easier to adjust to. Spring 2020 was the most confusing time of most people’s college careers, trying to figure out how to use Zoom and navigate this unprecedented situation. Fall 2020 we were all a little bit more prepared. Professors had learned how to make their mics turn on when they wanted to and some even knew how to screen share. Students, it seemed, were finally able to navigate online classes as well, coming back to campus uneasy about so many unknown factors. I am definitely among that group.
I came back to campus in August this year with my luggage piled high with cleaning supplies and freshly bought masks, ready for my weekly COVID test. There are many things I have realized this semester, some good some bad. For one, being on street level creates an issue when in meetings with professors every time a truck revs at the stop light or an ambulance goes past. For another, Zoom has opened doors to so many classes and opportunities. Now we have all mostly adjusted and know Zoom and Canvas inside and out. Because of this, I have been able to attend many different lectures from all around the world, having almost a study abroad experience from my dorm room. Being an East Asian Language and Culture major, being able to participate in classes taught from a South Korean university or Taiwanese school has been an incredibly valuable opportunity that has contributed greatly to my college experience.
Living in a residence hall and wearing a mask just to go up and down the hallway has been a weird, and scary, experience for many of us and learning how to navigate these challenges has not been easy. I personally have learned a lot this year about myself and how to make the most of opportunities that would not exist otherwise.