By Preethi Mangadu
Web Content Contributer
As a result of many being forced into a school year that was fully online due to COVID-19, the sophomores faced an unusual transition to in-person college. Being in almost the same boat as the incoming freshmen, they experience a mix of emotions as they try to adjust to this new learning environment.
Unlike the freshmen, the sophomores were thrown into the mix under the “returner” category, meaning they had to figure out the campus without orientation and other typical freshman events that would help socialization.
“I kind of wish the school had done something for students in situations like this coming back onto campus because it’s harder to meet people who already have groups of friends and such,” Emily Havard said. “I plan on getting involved though even if it’s a bit daunting to be social after a year online.”
According to the University of Illinois, larger classes often suffer online because interaction and dialog become “limited,” forcing students into almost “independent” learning. Because of this, some sophomores are now struggling to raise their hands in class, join in on discussions, fully contribute to group projects, and more.
“I have gotten used to doing my own thing, and I have become more introverted,” Princess Ibinayin said. “I cannot go up to people and talk.”
However, as the screens come down, other sophomores are thriving in this newfound college experience. Without some of the distractions of the online world, classes are easier to focus on, making many of the sophomores more productive than the previous year.
“The transition to in-person classes has definitely helped me feel more engaged in the content and more comfortable interacting with both students and professors,” Olivia Saunders said. “The screen felt like a filter and asking questions or even just conversing required extra steps that took advantage of any hesitation and prevented me from being anywhere but on my own side of that boundary.”
Though these sophomores are experiencing a mix of emotions, they are finally in person, on campus and taking part in their Bobcat community.
“Despite being a second year, I have little knowledge of campus and student activities because I’m experiencing all of it for the first time,” Saunders said. “It’s very overwhelming, yet extremely exciting; I feel as if I’ve been in a transitional space for the past year and now I’ve finally transitioned into where I’m supposed to be, even if it is unfamiliar to me.
Featured Image by Preethi Mangadu
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