English Majors Coping with Social Distancing

By Robert Drinkwater

With college campuses closed across the country due to Covid-19, students now have to do online classes via zoom from home. This is a time of adjusting to our schedules that have been drastically changed. As students, we now have to take classes at home and adjust to online classes and social distancing. Everyone has been coping with this differently through all of this change. English majors Henry Wanat, Katie Shupp, and Ali Hooper have shared their thoughts on dealing with this.

Henry

  1. How are you coping with social distancing?

While I am an introvert, I crave daily human interaction. In order to cope with social distancing, I have been becoming increasingly active on the streaming platform Twitch.tv as well as playing games online with my friends over Discord. It has been helpful to have regular classes over Zoom.

2. How are your online classes going?

My online classes are going pretty well, considering. Sometimes it is awkward since I do not have access to a webcam, but my professors have been taking the transition in stride.

3. How has this change in academics affected you overall?

This has dramatically affected my academics, because I do not have that personal interaction with my professors that I came to UMF for. Now that I am at home, it has been a struggle to stay motivated and to find an adequate place to study in an otherwise busy household.

Katie

  1. I’m coping okay. I think that it’s for the best. As much as I want to be with my friends and on campus, I think it’s definitely going to be better and safer for everybody. Personally, I feel better surrounded by people, so being around my family is a little bit tough, but it’s definitely better for everybody around the world and it’ll be okay.

2. They’re going pretty okay. English, I feel like is easier to do online than other classes, mostly because the ones I’ve been in at least have all been discussion based than essay, lecture, or lab stuff, so I think it’s easier for us because we could easily zoom or have text conversations on what we’re doing in class. It’s been pretty okay. I’m happy with what I’ve been doing.

3. It’s making me more aware with how much time I’m spending. Before, I was spending more time with everything all together at one time and now I’m splitting it up into hour increments where I’m doing one thing at one time. I feel like I’ve been noticing I need to spend more time on each class than I have been so I’m thinking more study time. I think that goes hand in hand with making schedules. I’m hoping that everything’s going to stay the same and not gonna change and go negative. I feel like everything’s going to go up from here, so I’m staying positive.

Ali

  1. Social distancing has been really hard. I’m a social person and I miss bumping into past classmates and professors around campus. Luckily, I’m fortunate enough to live with my good friends, and I speak to my family often so I don’t feel lonely, but I miss physically being in a community.

2. Internet aside, I think my classes are just starting to make sense again. After the initial scramble to figure everything out, I really wasn’t sure I was going to be able to finish the semester. I’m glad I stuck with it because it’s really starting to come together and make sense again, but it’s taken a while.

3. I’m finding that who I am as a student has changed a lot since transitioning online. I’ve always put school first and been very organized and focused, but with recent events I’m finding my focus has shifted. Getting organized has been a fruitless battle, deadlines in my classes are still shifting, assignments are being added and dropped, and writing daily to-do lists is only adding to my stress not helping it. I’ve had to adopt a go with the flow attitude and learn to just take each day as it comes. My motivations, energy and environment have changed, along with the expectations I held myself too. I’m not longer aiming for A’s, just aiming to get though this semester with my sanity in tack.

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