Making it through the first week of classes may sound easy, but even syllabus day can be challenging after a whole year of online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attending in-person college classes is a new experience for many undergraduate students. This is the first year most freshmen and sophomores can experience college mostly in person. The seniors are the only undergraduate students who have had an entire year of college in person and the juniors have only had a semester and a half in person.
Some instructors will be teaching in a classroom instead of through their computer screens for the first time.
Regardless if you enjoyed online classes or not, fully transitioning back to in-person classes will be difficult for everyone. Be patient with yourself as well as your fellow students and instructors. There is always a learning curve when it comes to figuring out the flow of classes and this year is no different.
The first couple of weeks can be a time for trial and error for both students and instructors. If your first week did not go as planned, do not worry about it — it is a completely normal part of the back-to-school experience. There is plenty of time for trial and error so the semester runs smoothly. It might take a little more time than usual because of the pandemic, but that's OK.
“Partly through my first day, I realized I was taking too long on most of the slides,” IU graduate student Spenser Warren said. “I had prepared a lecture that was too long so I had to modify how long my lecture was.”
Many students have been looking forward to in-person classes, which makes all of the challenges of readjustment worth it.
“It’s so much better going back to in-person classes,” IU freshman Camille DePiro said. “It’s nice to not have to leave your dorm, but I’d rather have a teacher in front of me.”
DePiro said the buses are confusing to her, but she knows she will figure out how to use them soon so she doesn’t have to walk everywhere.
Brian R. Noojin, director of IU Campus Bus Service, said the campus bus delays are partially caused by freshmen and sophomores not knowing how the bus system works, but he expects improvement once students are acclimated to campus.
If you’re still trying to adjust to this semester, don’t worry. We all deserve time to adjust after the year we’ve had.
Some professors are offering class Zoom links for students who feel more comfortable online than in a classroom. It's important that students are supported and given alternatives to return at their own pace and not jump back in if they aren’t comfortable
Even though the transition back to in person is tough, everyone is going through it together and it will get better.
Olivia Franklin (she/her) is a junior studying journalism with a minor in political science. She is a member of the swim club at IU and the Women in Media organization.