By Erika Laboy
With the pandemic entering its third year, coping with the effects of the Coronavirus hasn’t been easy. This is especially true for college students.
Ohio has seen more than 1 million cases of the Coronavirus. The number continues to rise as colleges and universities continue to adapt to protocols such as mask mandates, online courses, and heavy restrictions around campus.
Tyrese Rushton, a junior at Cleveland State University, said his toughest moment during the pandemic was being “forced out of the dorm” during his freshman year and having to take his entire sophomore year online.
“I had to move back home with my parents. I had to start my job again and juggle all the school work that was loaded on me,” he said. “It was difficult to be outside of the classroom setting because it didn’t motivate me to do my work. I liked being on campus with my friends and being on my own. I struggled with the mentality of being a student outside of the proper setting.”
Switching to online classes was a huge challenge for plenty of students the past year. Many schools allowed students to choose a pass/fail option, which wouldn’t impact their grade point averages.
Jackie Harker, a sophomore physical therapy major at Kent State University, found Zoom classes difficult. “It was harder to learn over a screen since they couldn’t get the full experience of labs in person,” she said.
Tutoring services also became harder to access. With grades dropping, students flocked to online zoom sessions with tutors. The sessions, however, were often crowded and didn’t allow time for everyone to seek help.
Kailee James, a senior criminal justice major at Youngstown State, said her experience through the pandemic has been a huge adjustment, but YSU did a great job of managing it.
“My professors did an outstanding job teaching remotely. I am incredibly lucky to have had such helpful professors through COVID-19. My professors made sure we knew we could contact them at any time with questions about the materials. They quickly replied and made sure we understood the concepts before moving on.”
Campuses in Northeast Ohio have now largely returned to face-to-face classes. Protocols have been put in place, including social distancing, masks, and encouraging vaccinations.