As we celebrated the emergence of 2021 with New Years Eve, the entire world was ready to leave 2020 and all its icks in the past. The celebrations, however, were short-lived as students nationwide returned back to their campuses only to resume online classes once more. Clemson University has implemented some in-person instruction into its curriculum for Spring 2021, yet many classes are still presented online. Many professors are still not comfortable returning to in-person instruction or were unable to find a space big enough to seat the allotted students.
The global pandemic has mentally exhausted students and staff at Clemson. Students have verbalized their lack of motivation and just overall frustration with the situation. It’s upsetting to see that students no longer feel comfortable reaching out to other students in their classes for a study session or even for a quick bite to eat. Students instead have resorted to creating online group chats to discuss questions, deadlines and test dates. Although group chats and Zoom meetings are a healthy alternative, the isolation is slowly deteriorating our minds. I have recently found watching my neighbors leave their homes entertaining, as it feels like the only sense of normalcy nowadays. It’s a nice break from the ten asynchronous lectures I am expected to have the motivation and stamina to sit through everyday.
On the days I do go to campus, however, it is nice to be able to run into some old friends and chat with my professors face-to-face. I find students enjoy studying outside (when the weather permits) the new business building or by the Reflection Pond. I also find students are slowly and safely resuming outdoor activities, whether that’s spikeball on Bowman, basketball by the quad or biking around campus. It’s in everyone’s best interest to shut their laptop screens and step outside at least once a day.
If you struggled last semester and are worried about staying on top of it this semester, do not panic! You are not alone, as the entire Clemson community is ready to see things go back normal. This is a friendly reminder to check in with yourself and do something that will benefit you in this very moment, whether that’s taking a walk, calling a friend or hugging your neighbor’s dog (which I may or may not do too often). And please please please, mask up and stay safe!