Freshmen vs. Seniors: Learning in a Virtual World

HAMMOND, LA– Zoom meetings, Google meets, and Flex classes are the new norms for both freshman and senior students at Southeastern Louisiana University. For some, these online classes are a blessing but for others, it is ineffective in teaching. According to EDUcause.edu, high school seniors who are transitioning in their first year of college, are adamant on what they want. Writer James M. Quirk writes: “ some students stated that they won’t begin their higher-education if it is online only.”  Freshmen students on Southeastern’s campus have had their share of hardships. Freshman Academic Advisor, Mindy Notariano said,” Most [freshmen] I have talked to have established a routine, but a routine is difficult to find with the ambiguity of every class.” 

Many classes are online at Southeastern, and freshmen are adapting, but many would rather face-to-face. “ I benefit more from face-to-face classes, because it’s easier for me to pay attention and to hear what my professor is saying.” Freshman Braeden Medlock said. Along with online classes, higher education executives have created hybrid classes, such as flex classes. According to ncsl.org, many universities are creating socially distanced classes. 24% of classes have agreed to operate with these hybrid classes. 

Senior students have also suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic. Their senior year stripped away from them by quarantine and the fear of not being able walk across the graduation stage, and entering the workforce. Kaylee Normand, a graduating senior communication major with a concentration in news reporting shares her concerns with her graduating class. “ It’s stressful being a senior COMM major right now .”  she said. “You don’t know how this will affect your job in the future or the engagement in COMM 498, the thesis class I’m in. It’s been hard for me because I am doing a documentary .No one wants to be interviewed because they’re scared of the virus.”

Students are hoping that COVID-19 is coming to an end and everything will be back to normal.

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