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What is it like to attend college during the pandemic?

I look forward to going to college either after high school or maybe a few later. Although it is in a few years and hopefully things will be much better, I was still wondering how much different it is, if it's that much different at all and what college is like while going through a pandemic?

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Ashley’s Answer

College, at least where I am located (Washington State), is mostly online during the pandemic. This means that classes are either synchronous (you show up to a zoom call at a certain time and attend class like you would in person) or asynchronous (such as with recorded video lectures). Either way, it is much more dependent on you to get things done and show up (much like college during non-pandemic times, but I've noticed that time-management and self-discipline are even more important for students during this pandemic). In addition, some universities, such as my old university, are changing how they grade (for example, you can take a class pass/fail at my old university rather than for a letter grade during the pandemic). In addition, some aspects of classes may look very different depending on your major. For example, natural science majors are doing labs using online simulation software rather than going into an actual lab.

Hope this helps!
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Dalton’s Answer

As a current grad student, college during the pandemic is much different than it was for my undergrad years. For my school, all of the courses are given virtually via zoom calls while the exams are given in person with all of the students spread out to maximize social distancing. For labs, the class is divided into groups which complete the labs on specific days so that everyone completes the requirements while maintaining safe environments for all of the students and faculty. All of the lectures are recorded which helps with reviewing for exams however mandatory attendance at the time of the zoom call is required. I am sure all schools have their own implementations during this pandemic, and most are working to get opened for in person classes again with the vaccinations being distributed now. Hope this helps and good luck with your future.
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Sophia’s Answer

I think undergraduate college is significantly different during the pandemic than it was before. My college went full remote with in-person classes only for labs. Most 1st and 2nd year students would not qualify for this, so you would be looking at a full-remote environment. Full-remote has many challenges (but does have some upsides depending on your situation, work ethic, etc.). Although the quality of online education has gotten significantly better, my college is still charging full-price tuition for a lesser quality experience (in my opinion). Further, a big reason why I went to college was to experience life on my own, interact with people that are different than myself, study abroad, and make connections with professors/professionals in the field I was interested in. This would be a lot harder to do online (in my opinion). I would take inventory of the main reasons why you want to go to college, and consider if online college would be right for you!
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Ayesha’s Answer

Hi Anouk,
I enrolled into my grad program during the pandemic and so, have spent my first semester taking online classes. This was a completely new educational experience for me since my undergrad was in person. I had to familiarize myself with multiple online learning platforms for my course, and had a mix of scheduled online classes and recorded lectures to attend. While I missed the in-person aspect of being a student, and that too a foreign student in my program, I found virtual learning quite liberating as I could continue my full-time job alongside studying.

What helped me make the most of my situation was:
1- Organizing my day, including breaks
2- Utilizing a few hours on the weekend to attend recorded lectures
3- Connecting with my peers through weekly virtual catch-ups to get to know other people attending the same course from around the world
4- Communicating my challenges, sharing my experience and asking for help as needed
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Brayden’s Answer

Hello! College during the pandemic is less than existing. Like the above people have said it really depends on where you are located as to what you experience is like. For me, I am located in Oregon so about 95% of classes are online. Since I am an engineering students and close to graduation some classes are held in person but strict guidelines are followed in order to prevent any getting sick. The amenities on campus are mostly closed but such places like the gym, library, student union and a few other buildings are open. For the most part online school has been fine but its defiantly getting old. In your upper division classes it can be difficult to learn the material as these topics are very hands on and in class instruction is needed. For the time being however we just try are hardest to learn the material do good on exams. Most professors are understanding in the challenges that we face as students so that has been a huge help because not only are we struggling through this process they are as well. Hopefully this helps ! Good luck!
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