Almost a year ago today, Temple University would change the way courses were taught and completely impact the normalcy of what a typical college day consists of. Virtual learning and courses have replaced what it feels like to be in a regular educational setting and many students were forced to quickly adjust to the new norm. A lot of Temple students felt it was a relearning process of what it is to be a college student. Participation and communication that was once face to face or partner to partner, was suddenly changed from black screens with student names that talk to one another mostly through chats. Spring 2020 first introduced the new wave of learning through screens pretty early, fast forwarding until today. Temple students have been virtual since the start of the spring 2021 semester.
To say the least it has been an exhausting change for many students, faculty, and teachers. Learning solely through technology has taken an undeniable toll on student’s physical activity, balanced mental and emotional health, and a more regulated social life.While some students are still completely virtual this semester, there are a number of students that have 1-2 in-person classes and are loving every minute of it. Although these in-person classes are in session, these courses are still operating under very strict COVID-19 guidelines. Students are required to follow the four public health pillars which include: face masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and staying home if sick.
Junior student Owen Glazer, felt Temple’s strict rules have helped keep in-person courses safe and enjoyable. His concerns were only related to students habits outside of campus. “We follow procedures, we wear our masks, and we social distance, Temple as a whole has done very, very well.” Owen, like others have felt safe and comfortable enough to share their experiences with in-person learning. Two freshmen brothers, Erin and Kieran Cunningham, felt that their experience with in-person classes was appreciated and needed in such hard times. “Having to be away from peers and distant from everyone you would normally be around seriously affected us, our mental health, and the college experience we looked forward to.”
Many Temple students are overjoyed this spring semester as it has brought back what class feels and looks like to a certain degree. It’s not nearly close to the same as how it used to be, of course, given the circumstances a lot of Temple students feel that this new process of getting classes in-person is a step in the right direction.
March 11, 2021 stands as a special day to reflect on how much has changed for students globally and how Temple University has prevailed throughout the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. However, Thursday expands far beyond Temple, it also stands as a “National Day of Observance” to honor everyone who we lost to the virus and to recognize the impact this global pandemic had on each and everyone of our lives.