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'I don’t really think I’ve actually learned a whole bunch': OSU students reflect on COVID-19 semester

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Students have had to adjust to a socially-distant semester due to COVID-19.

From going to zoom classes to seeing chairs in the Colvin Recreation Center, the on-campus scene during COVID-19 is something some Oklahoma State students thought they’d never see. 

Jackson Linson, an industrial engineering major at OSU, said that his experience in the classroom has been odd, especially when trying to connect with his fellow classmates.

“The more general the class for my major specific classes, it gets a little bit better, but I doubt it’s ever over 50% that are in class,” Linson said. “Through the online sections, it’s kind of hard to connect with the teachers because even if you have your webcam on, they’re not looking up at the screen reading faces or anything even though most people don’t do that anyway.”

While Linson thinks it’s harder to learn, he doesn’t think it’s impossible. Although, he said one class specifically is draining him in this learning environment. 

“I don’t feel like I’ve learned as well as I could have in person, especially in physics because that class, it’s kicking my butt,” Howell said. 

For the most part, Linson expected to see the campus distanced and walking with facial coverings. 

As far as how he feels now compared to back in the beginning of the semester, Linson has noticed a difference in people communicating. 

“You stop and talk to people more now, even though you don’t have classes with them anymore,” Linson said. “I feel like people are starved more for social interaction and so they’re more willing just to talk to you, just randomly.” 

Trey Turner, a sports management major, lives off-campus and considers online classes as something that’s set up perfectly for him, even though he’d prefer in-person. 

Turner now feels like he has a limit with communicating with his professors.

“I used to go to office hours somewhat moderately before this semester,” Turner said. “This semester, I don’t think I’ve attended a single office hour.” 

That same communication with professors has led to his learning feeling limited as well. 

“I don’t really think I’ve actually learned a whole bunch, the thing about online classes I feel is that they’re good, but you don’t really get much out of them.”

With that said, Turner feels that he’s actually had more opportunities to do new things. 

With how he’s felt about going through life in general, Turner said he already knew what to expect from the outside world, just because he’s been through stress in the past. 

“I knew how to handle (stress),” Turner said. “Some of the people I’ve talked to said they went through mental stress, depression, stuff like that, whereas I’ve already been through a situation like this, so, I knew how to better set myself up with doing things around the house.” 

Turner has been finding his own activities to go through the time. 

“You have to learn new passions, you have to dig deep on Netflix or whatever. Currently, I’ve created my own database tracking college basketball.”

Turner, who’s also a sports fanatic, is still a fan of college basketball and does not want to let up on his enthusiasm for the game. 

As someone who works for athletics, he’s still been able to see the action. 

“We’re lucky to even be able to play, I’m totally happy with playing, and we’re trying to fans in the gates, it’s not as much as normal but it's at least a start,” Turner said. 

As someone who’s seen professors change their schemes, distanced classrooms and limited crowds at games, Turner wants to eventually move forward along with everyone. 

“I understand why we’re still in this state, I just want to get over it,” Turner said. 

news.ed@ocolly.com