Now that midterms have come and gone, everyone is preparing for and dreading finals week. Last spring, Pacific was forced to move all classes online with little time to prepare. Since then, the university, professors, and students have learned how to navigate through virtual life and have discovered what works well and what doesn’t.
“During the spring last year when we first moved online, it was not good at all. A lot of my classes kind of stopped happening,” said Savita Wilson, a junior at Pacific who is majoring in business administration.
She remembered how messy the transition was initially. “But I think this semester has been good. [Pacific] has found a way to make it work.”
Many students agree that professors have been more lenient and flexible this year when it comes to assignments and tests. A lot of classes have switched to projects and virtual quizzes on Moodle to try and navigate the challenges that come with online learning.
“Now that it’s been a year, I’m exhausted from sitting on this chair for like, four hours,” said Yolanda Sanchez, a freshman psychology major at Pacific.
Sanchez works with her mom in a small business of making bread. While being at home has been uncomfortable, she’s happy she has been able to lend a hand.
Students have different opinions on whether or not the university should continue hybrid classes or return to traditional, in-person classes.
Wilson explained how she hopes that classes remain hybrid, “I really hope it is still an option because there are times where you can’t physically make it to class.”
Sometimes a cold can keep students from attending class, but being able to log into zoom and stay on track has been a benefit of hybrid learning. Accidentally sleeping through an alarm can result in students missing a whole class, but running to log into class on a laptop can help keep attendance up.
The hardest part about virtual learning is staying motivated at home. Pre-COVID, students could go back to their homes, unwind,and separate work from home. Now, there’s a lack of distinction between the two.
“When you combine work and home/sanctuary into one space, it really changes the entire mood of what that space means to you,” said Ginae Borja-Johnson, a freshman at Pacific. “I feel like my dorm should be a place where I feel like I can relax.”
Zoom university is complicated and has its ups and downs, but overall, it seems that professors and students have figured out how to navigate virtual life, making midterms fly by smoothly. Students and professors all understand the struggles of midterms and finals, but the stress of a global pandemic has added to that weight.
“When you’re pushed into a new lifestyle that you cannot control, it will take a toll on every single aspect of your life,” said Borja-Johnson. “Everyone is struggling in their own way.” — Ashley Meza
Photo: Computer lab in basement of Marsh Hall (Ashley Meza)
Ashley Meza was born and raised in Portland and is a senior studying journalism. She is currently the student life section editor and hosts the Index Podcast. She holds the DACA Coordinator position at the Student Multicultural Center and enjoys making short films in her free time.