Students Transition back to School During Pandemic

By Kristina Pickering

Students, faculty, and staff, welcome back to your new life here at NDMU! As you begin your reintroduction into society, take note of the suggests I have following our current climate:

  1. As you merge from a wholly online experience where you were attached to computer or electronics 24-7, make sure to see an eye doctor ensure your eyesight is functioning as well as it can be.
  2. Make sure you have running shoes, as you will be running around campus once more for meetings, programs, events, and classes! Let’s not forget parking at UAB and running to your course at Caroline Hall.
  3. Make sure you reintroduce yourself to social cues as you cannot hit the “end” button on a conversation.
  4. Remember to always have a watch on you to remind you of the time and date so that you are not turning in assignments late, but also that you are getting through your week!
  5. Remind yourself to take breaks. You can be easily overwhelmed in a society where we run around doing multiple things, from jobs, clubs, and homework. Be sure to take care of your mental health and know when to say “no.”
  6. Make sure to indulge in your hobbies now and then to further your interests outside of school and allow you to disconnect when you are not at school.

If you have not been able to guess, school at NDMU since 2020 has changed. We are now entering a new norm of education, or really, reengaging in our previous norms in which we must reacclimate ourselves. Does this mean isolation has changed our way of thinking and our mindset? Does this also suggest we must reassess what is important to us in terms of our education? Does this also mean we must challenge what education is and what it could be?

In talking with the senior Rockie Pompey, she stated how “during COVID when things were getting shut down, taking classes online became much harder while being an essential worker, many things were added to my plate which stressed me out. Now, being back on campus after everything, it had become harder to reacclimate with my routines as a commuter when I was used to waking up three minutes before class started.”

As Pompey stated, it has been difficult for many students, faculty, and staff to reacclimate to our used-to-be “normal.” A norm where we were used to running around and being the super involved students we originally were. We had jobs, classes, extra-curriculars, clubs, and events, all of which were transferred to online. Being back in person means re-adjusting to a norm that does not involve waking up three minutes before classes and dressing in sweatpants and sweatshirts to go to a forty-minute Zoom class. We went into the pandemic as young freshmen and sophomores and have now emerged wiser, busier, and conscious juniors and seniors ready to challenge what we already know of education to see what we can do to improve it for the future.

Students are beginning to feel a sense of normal after online learning during the height of the pandemic. The adjustment seems challenging and there are some unaccounted for, yet somewhat humorous, outcomes.

Photo Courtesy PhotosForClass

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