*The following is a written assignment for a college course*
Another day, another session of physical seclusion. It has been almost exactly 3 months since I last stepped it within the hallowed halls of UNT; 3 months of not having a quiet study session in Willis be completely squashed by the sounds of drills and metal clanging. It takes a lot to make this introvert to miss and long for the days of crowded classrooms and looking for an empty chair in the cafeteria, but here we are.
I know that I sound like a broken record when I say the transition to online classes had its bumps and may have been less than ideal. One look at the (unofficial) UNT subreddit easily paints the anxiety ridden portrait that can sum up that time in our lives. Grades suffered, emotions and tensions rose, leading to a pretty tumultuous spring semester.
Though I was able to adjust to those changes pretty well, I would have easily preferred the in class sessions over the makeshift online environments any day. No disrespect towards any of my professors: I understand how overwhelming juggling the ire of students while transposing the curriculum to a different format. In short, not a great time.
My worries over the preceding semesters are admittedly selfish. Taking 1 online class is enough, but to have an entire semester’s (and possibly years’) worth of school work dependent on a computer is a bit deflating. One of the biggest, if not the biggest, appeals of university life is physically being there, an environment that will define a very prime moment of our lives. There is only so much a computer environment can do to try and emulate what was before, but I feel it will never live up to actually being there (this, coming from someone who loathes (loathed?) crowds).
I trust the UNT faculty to make measured and informed decisions regarding the potential livelihoods of its students, so I just wonder about the extents of this pandemic. If the President had it his way, the economy would have been fully up and running by Easter Sunday. For me, I can only go with the flow, adjust to every restriction/freedom that will be brought about from the pandemic. I am set to have a full time schedule this Fall, so in class sessions will be quite the experience (if they happen).
To those intending a year off, proceed with caution. The romantic in me encourages you to go where the wind blows and explore new things in that landless latitude you may go. The realist sees clouds in the horizon, and since these waters can make for huge, inescapable waves. Whatever you do, I can only say, “Godspeed”.
Featured image provided by the UNT website.