When 2020 started, students and faculty at VSU weren’t worried about the rise of a pandemic. They were focusing on starting a new school year, planning out their courses, and getting prepared for the classes they were signed up to take.
No one expected to suddenly be switched to all online classes, However, this was the reality that the students and faculty at VSU faced this past spring semester.
You might think that online learning is just the same as online classes that people take every day, pandemic or not. Although in a sense this is correct, there are some negative effects that this sudden change created.
A lot of people don’t know how to deal with change, and this was a huge change for a lot of students. During the change to online learning, a lot of students were experiencing anxiety and different wavelengths in their own personal mental health.
“Online classes had a large impact on my mental health. I’m rather extroverted and I really thrive from seeing lots of people every day and having personal interactions,” Cassie Katen, a VSU sophomore student, said.
Shannon Strapp, a junior at VSU,said that some of her teachers didn’t make the transition to taking all online classes any easier.
“My mental health was horrible. Every time I did any assignment it felt like it was for nothing,” she said. “I think having to continue with school during a pandemic played a big role in that, one of my professors truly didn’t care about how stressed we were and would continue to add more random assignments. Finishing the semester online really pushed me to the edge of insanity and I thank God it is over.”
Even some students who are used to taking online class felt uneasy about the unexpected switch to an all online educational environment.
“I have taken online classes before. I always do well on them, but I never truly learn anything … I am the type to learn the most in person and not behind a screen due to my attention span and major,” Kat Soto, a junior at VSU, said.
Professors had to do a lot of quick thinking to switch their in-person classes to online with short notice, but they managed to do it, and the school provided resources for both the faculty and students to aid in the change. However, no amount of resources could have prepared the students’ and faculty’s mental stability and stress caused by transitioning to online classes.
Dr. Linda Jurczak, a communication professor in the department of communications, said that she saw a major difference between in-person classes and online classes as she quickly prepared to begin her online instruction.
“Some would think (online classes) would be much easier. It is not. It’s different but a lot of work. I also find it to be time-consuming because what I would have done in a 75-minute class period took me four hours in the online environment,” she said.
VSU’s administration and faculty have spent the summer preparing for a number of different possibilities, and students will go into the new semester more prepared to deal with unforeseen changes in VSU’s learning environment.
Written by Lyric Chiles and Annalisa Canouse, staff writer. Photo courtesy of Pexels.