Freshman year again

GVL Archive

GVL Archives

GVL Archive

Maddie Zimmerman , Columnist

I’m going into my sophomore year at Grand Valley State University, yet it feels like my freshman year. Who could have predicted that the first time I actually go to an in-person class since I graduated from high school in March of 2020 would be my sophomore year of college? Not me.

My friend, from my hometown, is coming to GVSU as a freshman and I can only give her limited advice about a “normal” freshman year. I have no experience with sports, football games, in-person classes, food options on campus. My transition was completely different.

Everything that I had dreamed of for my freshman year was ruined all because of COVID-19. For the first time since sixth grade, I’m immensely worried about going to class. I am so accustomed to sitting in my dorm room in my pajamas, half asleep through my Zoom classes.

I feel as if no one is going to understand how hard it’s going to be for students this year. Not just college students, but all students to transition from mostly online, to in-person.

This transition is going to have to be done with almost no help. My freshman year was rough to get used to. I had to learn Blackboard entirely by myself. Not a single professor taught us how to use it. I can’t tell you how many times I cried because I had the assignments done but couldn’t find the turn-in spot and it became late.

I never had to use Zoom until I came to GVSU. Also, like Blackboard, I had to navigate Zoom alone. If students are expected to use these platforms the least the university can do is try to be more understanding about this transition. This year especially, we need extra help from professors, staff, and parents. This is stressful for most students. Mentally and physically, it’s exhausting. There is no certainty within the world right now during this devastating pandemic. 

I couldn’t be more grateful for the university finally opening back up and having tailgates, clubs to join, more meal options, and even things as silly as being able to have more people in a room at the same time. However, the in-person part of learning is stressing me out.

During this upcoming semester just be nicer to people, professors are stressed as well. Everyone is struggling with going back to in-person learning in some way, some more than others. Everyone is stressed.

During a time like this, we all need to be more understanding of everyone’s circumstances. If you see someone struggling to get to class, ask them if you can help. If someone drops their ID let them know. If you like someone’s outfit, tell them. The littlest things can make someone’s day. All in all, COVID-19 has displayed that no matter what life throws our way, we can help each other overcome it.