Student Consensus on Returning to Campus Amid Pandemic

Despite numerous world-changing events in the past few months, Manhattan College students are entering college during the most tumultuous time of the modern century. Equipped with masks and hand sanitizer, students are looking to start the next chapter of their life, all at six feet apart. The Quadrangle spoke with several students about their true feelings on coming back to college during a pandemic.

Interviews compiled by Julia Melchiorre.

Amanda Scalisi, Class of 2022

Childhood Education Major

What was your first week of classes like?

The first week was stressful because in some classes the technology was not working how they wanted it to. It was a little annoying and not a great fit for me. 

How do you feel about being on campus with the pandemic and restrictions?

I feel excited, obviously it’s a little different from past years but it’s not too bad. As long as everyone stays safe by social distancing and wearing masks, I’m fine with it. 

How do you feel about your online classes in comparison to your in-person classes?

For my online classes, I feel like it is a little of a struggle for me. I like being physically in the classroom and I feel like it’s beneficial for me, so online learning is a little difficult for me.

Does this semester still live up to expectations of college?

As long as I’m with my friends and able to hang out with them, that’s all that matters. So yes, it does live up to my expectations.

Jenn Guilbeault, Class of 2023

Communications Major with a Concentration in Public Relations 

What are your feelings about remote learning? What are the challenges and advantages?

In terms of advantages, I feel like I definitely have less distractions as opposed to being with my friends on campus. I feel like I can do things on my own and get my work done when I want to without being with my friends, it definitely helps but is sad at the same time. The most difficult part is that some of the professors don’t really know how to use technology and at the same time the professors expect more work from us even though we are showing our faces and being present. That is definitely one of the consequences of being remote.

In what ways have you had to adjust due to the pandemic? How did you do it?

For me, I had to adjust because last semester when we became remote I would wake up five minutes before my class and do it in my bed, but I knew that was not going to work this year. Now I set my alarms 30 minutes prior, make some coffee, and get myself ready so I feel like I’m in class rather than remote. I also had to adjust to the workload and balance the schoolwork with my free time at home. 

How are you planning on making the most out of this year and staying positive?

I am staying positive by still Facetiming my friends that are on campus and I tell myself I will be there in the spring. I don’t want to have the negative thoughts that I will be home for a year, so I tell myself spring will come fast and everyone will come home at Thanksgiving so I won’t be missing too much.

How does this semester compare to your last semester? 

Though I’m remote I still get to participate in the clubs. The campus is doing a good job setting up virtual activities, which is definitely a plus side. 

Do you have any advice for freshmen this semester?

My advice for freshmen would be to try to meet everyone you can, even if it’s just chatting. Get to know everyone and try to say hi to a friendly face. 

Alexander Ellison, Class of 2024

Adolescent Education Major with a Concentration in History 

How do you feel about your remote classes? What are the challenges and advantages?

It is easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of work that comes in remotely and learning to deal with things on Moodle. I feel like the professors are still adjusting as well, so that makes it a little tougher to receive assignments. It also has its advantages because I just get to wake up in my pajamas and plug in. In a way it’s kind of like a blessing and a curse, but I feel as we slowly adapt to it, it will become more efficient.

How do your online classes compare to your in-person classes?

I prefer the in-person classes because it has the human connection that just can’t be beat. But I do also enjoy the remote classes because I can relax and not be pressured by an outside environment, but at the same time, the in-person classes just feel more authentic. 

How are you planning on making the most out of this year and staying positive? 

The way I make the most out of a time like this is that I concentrate most on what makes me happy. I feel like everyone should stick to a hobby or something and do things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do in a busy time. 

Does this semester still live up to the expectations you had of college?

Freshman year is a great introduction into college life. I’m not disappointed, I’m just accepting the fact that it is slightly frayed due to the pandemic but it’s nothing that we can’t accomplish. 

In what ways have you adjusted to college?

I feel like less of a stranger now that school has started. In terms of adjusting, it feels more natural, just walking around and feeling like part of the community.