As the end of the fall 2020 semester approaches, it is time to start thinking about registration for spring 2021.That could mean face-to-face classes for some students who have not set foot on campus since March.
But what is it even like to be on campus during the coronavirus pandemic? The Mesquite toured Texas A&M University-San Antonio on Oct. 13 to find out.
Biology freshman Michelle Tovar registered for two classes on campus and two classes online. Tovar commends the university for “maintaining everyone’s safety” through enforcing the wearing of facemasks and regular temperature checks.
“I really like being on campus, I love the atmosphere,” Tovar said as she sat with her peers outside of the cafeteria.
She said she prefers taking classes on campus instead of online; she said the hardest part about taking online classes is the lack of communication.
“I wish we didn’t have to do online classes because I feel like it’s very stressful, for me at least, to have questions and not have them get answered right away.” Tovar said. “I have to send an email and then wait, sometimes a couple days…”
Communications sophomore Bryan Garza is taking all online classes. Also a campus resident, he reflected on what life on campus was like before the coronavirus.
“Last semester we had a lot of freedom; students were in the common areas almost every single hour, but now it’s like limited and it’s pretty sad inside the dorms…it’s pretty quiet.” Garza said during an interview in the courtyard.
Business senior Tommy Lynch agreed that campus life has been a little dull. Standing outside the Patriots Casa, he expressed his concern for students being stuck in their dorms with little to no social activity.
“Students with no cars have nowhere to go or nothing to do,” Lynch said.
Although Garza feels life on campus has been a “depressing type of vibe,” he prefers to take online classes mostly for the prevention of being “exposed to the virus”, but he also explained the impact this change has had on his education.
¨I’m actually having better grades having online classes,¨ Garza says.
In contrast, Lynch thinks things have been “a little harder”, and feels he is “at a disadvantage” of getting the help he needs through online courses. Lynch takes one course on campus and commends his professor for adjusting under the circumstances.
“I think our professors have done a good job with adjusting on the fly,” Lynch said. “I know it’s probably very difficult for them to go from on campus, to online, to back on campus. I know it can be very difficult but my instructor seems like it was a seamless transition for her.“
If any students are feeling stuck between registering for on campus or online classes, Garza recommended getting advice from any peers that may have online classes.
“Not everyone is the same,” Garza said. “Not everyone will get good grades with online classes. I’m just one of those guys.”