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The Stylus

Living and learning during a pandemic

photo by Brianna Bush Students are adapting to the new online learning style, many use their computers or laptops to attend classes virtually.

Class chaos: how much is too much

Over the past few months, the world has been adapting to living during a global pandemic. For some, the transition was easy and they were able to adjust to new guidelines and procedures. Unfortunately, many are struggling with the transitions — especially those still in an educational setting. 

Some students are taking advantage of online learning, finding it easier to take on more classes while being able to stay in the comfort of their homes. Others find it unsuitable to be in virtual classes. 

“It seems like some professors are trying to take advantage of what they consider “more time” to do assignments,” Julia Drummond said. “I have a whole exam due this weekend that correlates to a bunch of readings and hour-long videos.” 

Drummond has been at Brockport for three years and, out of those three years, she has found this one to be the most difficult. She explained how her professors have overloaded her with work and at times she feels overwhelmed and exhausted.  

“It would be easier if professors would space out assignments more,” Drummond said. “I feel like all of these deadlines are condensed. I want to tell my professors, ‘just because we are online, doesn’t mean we have more time to do things.’ I’m just happy that I am able to keep up with the deadlines, even though they seem to come out of nowhere.” 

Drummond explained that with exclusively online learning, her due dates seem to appear out of thin air. She would be sitting at home and all of the sudden remember that she had something due — whereas, if she was in class, many professors would remind students of upcoming deadlines.  

There are mixed feelings surrounding the modules. Some professors are using them strictly as an aid to their “zoom classes,” while others are using them as their lessons only. For students that benefit from face-to-face learning, the modules can be difficult to complete or learn anything from. 

Linsey Madison is a journalism student that is finding it difficult to actually digest the material given to her in her online classes. Before the virus she found comfort in being able to find her professors and ask for their help, but with online classes she is lacking that connection that helped her be the best student she could be. 

“Now with everything online, you have to wait until virtual office hours, which could be a week after the material was given, and that’s frustrating,” Madison said. “With my fully online classes I feel as though I am teaching myself. I am going through the motions, barely focusing, just doing the work to get it done rather than listen and comprehend the material. I hate that it’s like that but with all of the answers out there online, why not fly through the material so I can do something else like in person homework or hanging out with my housemates to watch a movie. It’s the reality of what’s going on today and I know I’m not the only person who feels like this.” 

Fortunately, for students who still have in person classes, there hasn’t been too much change. 

Marios Argitis is an environmental science major who has a majority of his classes in person.  

“Nothing has really changed,” Arigits said. “I still have all of my lab classes and I still go on excursions to different bodies of water to study the wildlife with my class. The only real difference is wearing the mask and being cautious of who is around us.” 

view of SUNY Brockport high rises
photo by Brianna Bush/ Co-Editor-in-Chief
View of the SUNY Brockport dorms from Brockport Crossings

SUNY Brockport has closed its dining halls dining areas, forcing students with a meal plan to line up to get take-out style meals. Fortunately, the school has set up outdoor dining stations for students who would like to eat with their friends.  

With restrictions regarding who can enter dormitories, many students are not able to spend time with their friends. The outdoor dining experience allows students to mingle and make friends, while still maintaining social distancing guidelines. 

Mackenzie Lawrence, a Resident Assistant (RA) at Brockport, was able to give some insight into some of the new changes. 

“In the residential halls, there is now a Desk Attendant who sits 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. to check IDs of students coming in the building to make sure only those who live there are entering,” Lawrence explained. “Students are also used to being able to share common spaces, cook their favorite meals and attend programs to meet other students. With COVID-19, students cannot cook unless it’s microwaveable foods in their rooms. They also attend programs virtually now rather than in person.” 

Lawrence is also able to see how difficult it is for the first-year students to try and adapt to this new way of living. She recognizes the major safety problems that come with students wanting the “college experience.” 

“Students want a college experience,” Lawrence said. “They love their friends and want to go out and do the things they’re afraid to miss out on when they look back in the future. Many think that they’re not the population COVID-19 can affect, when that’s not true. So they visit friends in other rooms, eating dinner, or going off campus with no disregard of what they could possibly bring back.” 

Lawrence also has problems with students wearing their mask properly. Many of the students only have their mouths covered, leaving their noses out in the open. 

“They think since it’s over their mouth it counts when they are still breathing out of their nose,” Lawrence said. “Wearing it like that defeats the purpose of wearing the mask. It’s the equivalent of wearing underwear but not covering yourself with them.” 

She claims that students are reacting to these new regulations as expected and that many are more upset over being caught drinking alcohol along with having their “college experience taken away.” 

Students in off-campus apartments are fortunate to not have the same list of rules and regulations. While still maintaining social distancing, students who live off-campus are able to have visitors, but at their own risks.   

Argitis recently celebrated his birthday, and to celebrate his sister and girlfriend came to visit him. Because he resides in an apartment, he was able to have them stay with him without any resistance from anyone. 

Although there are less rules when it comes to living off-campus, people should still take precaution and be cautious of who they are around and what they are doing. 

“I am always wearing my mask wherever I go,” Argitis said. “I would never want to endanger some else, myself or my roommates.” 

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