As the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, the world of education changed significantly as classes switched from a classroom to online format.  As students prepared for these uncertain times, incoming freshmen were faced with more uncertainties than ever before.  They were forced to enter their college careers with another challenge to overcome on top of the other usual adjustments freshmen face when coming to college.  

If you’re curious about what it is like to navigate freshman year as a fully remote student or are wondering if someone feels the same way you do, then this article is for you!  I interviewed Ryan McAuley, who is a member of the class of 2024 navigating her freshman year in a way she never expected. 

If you find you feel the same way as Ryan, then check out this article called “How to Feel Connected to SJU When You’re Remote” for tips on how to feel connected & make friends online! 

What has your experience as a freshman who is fully remote been like?

“I would definitely say that being a remote student is not what I had in mind when I pictured going to college.  It has been ok.  I think a lot of other students have online classes, so I’m not really sure what I’m missing out on.  In all honesty, I just feel like I’m submitting assignments rather than truly understanding the concepts.” 

Source: Pearson English Blog

Image of girl doing online school from home.

Why did you decide to take classes fully online your freshman year?

“ I decided to take all of my classes online this year because I happen to live with my grandparents and didn’t feel like it was worth it to put them at risk.”

How did you feel coming into your freshman year in this new climate?

“Coming into freshman year this way was definitely not ideal. I had so many visions of what I thought college was going to be like when I was a kid, and I haven’t really been able to live them out yet. It was upsetting at first that I wouldn’t be on campus, but I think I made the right choice for my friends and family.”

What has the hardest part of your COVID freshman year experience been so far? 

“The hardest part of being completely remote has honestly been trying to make friends. I have reached out and made some friends, but probably not as many as I would have being on campus. I’m (left) out of all the inside jokes and information about life on campus. It’s hard to really get a good idea of the people you’re dealing with via technology.”

What do you think about the future of your college career?  Is there anything you’re excited or worried about? 

“As of right now, I’m not totally worried about my career. I do think that not being able to fully grip certain concepts may come to hurt me in the end, but I don’t really want to think about it right now. I’m hoping the pandemic will get better soon, so I can get the real college experience soon.”

If you want to keep reading about other students’ experiences during a COVID semester, check out these other articles below: