We are no longer in the era of Zoom, the paradise of introverts. It’s the end of the days for all-virtual learning, as classes reverted to in-person instruction for the majority of those on Grounds. With the fall semester now over a month old, one can begin to wonder what they are doing with their lives. Why are they going to school? Why did they choose the courses they took? Why have they completely used up their flexible dollars by going to Starbucks almost daily? There are a lot of questions, and I certainly don’t have the answers for them. The reason for this? I am a second year student. I know nothing. Seriously.
Assuming I’m not the only one experiencing these feelings as a sophomore introvert, this post-Zoom semester posed multiple challenges – most of which I anticipated last year, but overlooked. to do anything to prepare myself. For example, the large number of people walking through the gardens throughout the day. I didn’t know there were so many people, and I’m always shocked whenever I see a massive line of people walking down a street. Therefore, instead of doing something productive about these struggles, I’m going to express my thoughts in the best possible way – slightly sarcastic humor with a touch of self-mockery.
Frankly, one of the most terrifying things I’ve encountered so far is having to relearn how to memorize people’s names. It turns out that real human people don’t walk around with their names written under their faces. In the smaller classes, it is now time to talk to other people. The names of the teacher and TA can be found online, but there is no longer a list of participants that you can see in real life. As time goes on, it becomes more and more difficult to ask people their names over and over again. So if you’re like me and you have a pebble-sized memory, you either forgot the names of everyone you know or started writing down people’s names with a little description of it. what they look like with a mask because we still can’t recognize faces.
However, one of the most surprising differences between in-person learning and virtual learning is the act of physically going to class. Yes, I know it’s pretty obvious, but forget about having some free time before class. If you’re not in class, you’re probably waiting for the next section to begin or you’re busy thinking about what work you should and shouldn’t do. Depending on where you live, getting to your classes or dining halls is either a cinch or the length of time watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films back to back – extended cuts. Whether you take the public bus system, drive, cycle, walk, or use one of those hoverboards I’ve seen locked to a bike rack, now we all need to actively find specific classrooms and use at our legs again. Ouch.
And, when it comes to classes, it seems GroupMe talks have only slipped into the hands of student organizations and clubs. Can’t remember too little detail about one of your homework and don’t want to bother your teacher or personal assistant about it? You may then want to ask one of your peers the question. Pity. In order for a GroupMe class to be created, socialization must take place. And it’s disgusting. Who will go around the class and ask everyone for their number? If it’s not you, no one else will. Certainly no one will if it is a conference section. I have over four hundred people in my introductory college chemistry classroom. I don’t know the name of a single person there, and I probably never will. So your best bet is to talk to the person sitting next to you. Then again, this person might not be the talkative type, and you might not be either. But at least we’re all in the same boat!