IU reinstated mostly in-person classes for the first time in over a year for the fall 2021 semester. Many of the returning students haven’t had class on-campus since the spring 2020 semester and are working through the transition.
Roughly 65% of IU’s classes are fully in person, according to the iGPS website.
Freshman Diego Merino said although online classes are easier, taking classes in person this semester will boost his academic performance.
“Just today, you know, I walk into my math class, and I’m sitting there dialed in and taking notes and everything, and I think I got the most of the lesson,” he said. “Which if it was on Zoom I think I would get halfway there.”
Senior Cole Stoia said he spent a lot of time on campus last year because three of his classes were in person. He said he was glad to see a livelier and more populated campus compared to last year.
“It’s good to see people moving about and seeing a busy campus,” Stoia said. “I missed campus last year. It felt like it was only me and a hundred other people, but now it feels like Bloomington.”
For sophomore James Kraus, the switch from online to in-person classes has been intimidating but also heartwarming. He said seeing so many people on campus felt like an entirely different school from last year.
Kraus said it was difficult to meet people last year, as common areas in dorms were closed off and classes were confined to computer screens.
“Last year was completely online for me, and I definitely didn’t like it as much because it was very isolated,” Kraus said. “I like that you can actually meet people and make a connection that’s a lot more in-depth than on a Canvas course.”
Freshman Nishika Hegde said she finds the mask requirement a little jarring after spending most of her final year in high school at home, but she said she has found ways to cope with the stressors of freshman year and COVID-19 complications.
“It’s a little overwhelming, but I’ve met a lot of really nice people who have made the transition easier,” Hegde said.
Although she disliked not being able to interact with her classmates in person, senior Sela Dieden said she felt teachers were more understanding when students missed class or turned in assignments late. She said she thinks teachers should learn from the past year and implement strategies to better their relationships with students.
“They were more flexible last year, which was really nice,” Dieden said. “It felt like they cared about us and we were understood.”
Junior Joseph Pickett said he was surprised by how shocking the difference was seeing crowds of people walking through campus and said he felt for people struggling with the transition.
“Be graceful,” Pickett said. “This is a new time for everyone.”