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COVID-19: college student perspective

Students table for an event during FGCU’s 2020 Weeks of Welcome. EN Photo by Julia Bonavita.

By Katie Loudermilk
Contributing Writer
Halfway through the Spring semester, I was thriving in my journalism classes and was enjoying meeting new people. This all changed very quickly, though.
It feels like it was only yesterday when my professor told our class we would be having the remainder of the semester over Zoom due to COVID-19. I felt frustrated but accepted the situation, thinking it would not last that long.
I was wrong.
Here I am, in the 2020 fall semester, wondering when the old normal will return.
I am taking five courses this semester, and four of them are meeting virtually. I was excited that at least one of my classes would be in person. I miss the routine and having another place to go other than work or home. This first week has already been stressful.
Zoom was a mystery to me. I forgot how to access it and spent 20 minutes finding the link the professor sent to us for our first class. Once I found the email, I logged in and was put in the waiting room for 10 minutes. I was worried that I did not sign into the right class. I called in with the “dial-in” option and was put in the waiting room again. Finally, I was in the classroom and, thankfully, I did not miss anything vital for the class.
The nice part about having classes on Zoom is showing off our pets when introducing ourselves. My kitten was the star of my introduction, even though he would not stop chewing on my braid. I was also blessed to see the dogs and cats of my peers during the course. I am sure there is a study somewhere that says pets ease the anxiety. Maybe next time I will show off my bearded dragon.
After having a short break in between my summer and fall courses, I had a personal realization that having virtual classes would not be as terrible as I initially thought.
For instance, I do not have to wear pants. Skinny jeans are cute but not always comfortable in this summer heat. No one will know since I usually sit at my desk when we have class meetings. Not having to wear shoes is also a plus since I am more of a fuzzy sock girl when it comes to selecting footwear.
Another bonus is that I had a coughing fit from choking on my water during my first course. I was able to hit the mute button, and no one noticed that I was coughing my life away. This tends to happen whenever I am in class and it is dead quiet.
Everyone at FGCU will have their own experience during this pandemic while juggling school. We can all agree it is not ideal, but we can all make it work by looking at the glass as half-full. We are not alone. As the song states from my favorite childhood movie, High School Musical, we are all in this together!

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