The recent move to online classes was a shock to many Grand Valley State University students and professors alike. The jolting change has completely thrown off the rhythm of the winter semester.
With less than a week to adapt to the new format of the university, many students feel lost in the chaos.
In a voluntary survey for the Lanthorn, 40 students shared their thoughts on the transition process.
More than half of the students who participated reported that their most prominent feeling about new classes was anxiety. The second most popular was happy, but less than 15 percent of participants felt this way.
“The move was sudden and overwhelming as teaching style and exam deliverance varies by department and even professor,” said sophomore Natalie Price. “There is a lot to keep track of at the moment.”
Other answers reflected the same levels of anxieties when it comes to grades and their understanding in the classrooms.
“Many professors are unfamiliar with the use of technology,” said Junior Capriana Calvachi. “As a science major, I worry about the consequences (that) having no in-class instruction or office hours will have on my grades.”
Though many professors are offering online office hours, it often doesn’t have the same impact on the students. Online classes are not the best learning platform for some students and are completely new to others.
As students dive into the unknown, fears for the future run rampant.
“I’ve taken online classes before and I’ve hated them. I can’t learn that way, and I was missing assignments. I felt unorganized.” said Nadia, a junior student. “I fear that this will impact the GPA I’ve spent the past three years building.”
GVSU has made it an option for students to take winter semester as credit/no credit classes in response to these fears. Students will be able to decide individually if they want to make that change.
“I think a lot of professors are underestimating how much this has affected our lives,” said sophomore Rebekkah Bowen. “Many of us live on-campus and have had to move home. Our lives have been completely uprooted and it’s unfair to assume we can handle the workload that they are giving us.”
Students have been required to completely evacuate the dorms, even those who were previously allowed to stay when classes were only postponed.
Along with refunds for housing, GVSU is also providing refunds for meal plans and parking passes, much to the relief of the students who paid for those services.
Despite warnings from the CDC, two students responded that they did intend on traveling during the off period from in person learning.
“It’s just a virus,” said Melissa, a senior student. “Just like all of the other ones that are out there.”
Other students had much stronger opinions about the people who chose to travel and the risks implied with that choice.
“People who chose to travel at this time are putting themselves and others at risk,” said sophomore Mitchell Greene. “While it would be fun to travel for dirt cheap, people have moral and ethical obligations not to.”
As celebrities in recent news, like Idris Elba, Tom Hanks and more, it is possible for people to carry the virus without showing symptoms. Asymptomatic people are dangerous to the general population as they can spread the disease without their knowledge.
Sixty two percent of the participants confirmed that they plan to self-quarantine until they believe that it is safer. Of those who do not, most are still required to go to work. Others just don’t want to quarantine.
“I will if I fear I or someone around me is sick, but as long as I and the people around me are healthy, I don’t see a reason to do much more than be cautious when I have to leave home,” said sophomore Raven Thompson.
There’s no way of knowing what the future will hold or how this new learning style will impact the student body, all we can do is hang on for the ride.