The pandemic affected all of us in different ways: Students reflect on what they have been through

By The Spartan staff

A LOOK around campus so far this fall offers little evidence that a pandemic for more than two years altered the lives of students, faculty and staff.

Masks are still seen but with much less frequency, even in the buildings, where classes have returned to normal after several semesters of leaning on Zoom.

So last week seemed like a good time for members of The Spartan staff to fan out and ask students this question:

Now that the risks from the pandemic have decreased and things largely have gotten back to normal, what effects did the pandemic have on your ability to learn and on your education overall the past 2 1/2 years?

Here are the responses that we got:

Kian Payne

Kian Payne is a freshman majoring in Digital Marketing: “The pandemic impeded learning for me because I felt like the classes were a joke. On paper I was getting by, but I felt like my education as a whole was suffering. Having ADHD makes things hard in a structured classroom environment but a nightmare online.”

Edna Ibisevic

Edna Ibisevic is a freshman majoring in Nursing: “The pandemic affected my education pretty negatively but I also learned a lot from it. I had a very strong love for school growing up, but ever since the pandemic that relationship altered greatly. I am not as motivated or punctual as I once was. I find it hard to focus on schoolwork and I started to turn my assignments in late. However, I have been getting better with it ever since we started doing things how they were pre-pandemic. I learned that I do not thrive in an online learning environment. I feel like I do not pick up information as well as I do in person. Because of this, I also became very thankful for being able to attend school in person now. I learned to appreciate the little things and not take them for granted because you never know how different your life would be without them.”

Abigail Balderson

Ian Higgins

Ian Higgins is a sophomore majoring in Sport Management: “I would say I am better at adapting to weird situations now. Obviously there hasn’t been a long-term shutdown of things since COVID, but I know how to learn on my own and use different outlets to get work done if I really need to.”

Colin Harris

Colin Harris is a junior majoring in Cybersecurity: “My time management is getting a lot better in comparison to when school was my only commitment going on. Having other clubs and activities and a more regular schedule has been a tremendous help to me.”

– Chris Hulsart

Carter Powell

Carter Powell is a freshman majoring in Sport Management: He was going through surgery during his sophomore year in high school when the pandemic began. “I had just had surgery and was ready and excited to come back to school then a week later found out we were all leaving because of the coronavirus,” he said. He was devastated but also scared, already having missed time due to the surgery. Now he had to juggle his late work while also transitioning to online in a time of uncertainty. “It was hard trying to learn online. I lost the motivation and the want to learn more.” From that point on, Powell considered high school to forever be changed and it has truly impacted him on how he now learns at the college level.

Lily LaComb

Lily LaComb is a freshman majoring in Biology. “I was so used to working and learning in person, and when we had to transition to fully remote learning I didn’t know how to adjust.” The pandemic was truly a hard period for everyone but for Lily it may have been even harder. “Learning all these critical subjects during my sophomore year of high school online impacted how much knowledge I had going into junior year of high school.” It was harder for her to feel comfortable in classes trying to remember the information learned online. It was something that she still struggles with at times but in the end she got through it like all students did.

– Julian Leon

Sydney Hoover is a senior majoring in Criminology: “The whole COVID situation and going online for majority of our classes definitely had an impact on my education.” It was a massive change and she also mentioned the idea of paying full price for her education when she felt so much was taken from it. She mentioned that was one of the main reasons she transferred to York College; she was saving money and she felt better being home when the pandemic was in full force.

Isabelle Baldi

Isabelle Baldi is a senior majoring in Criminology: “I definitely didn’t agree with having to pay full price; I felt like we missed out of so many experiences and definitely our education.” She mentioned that now things are back to normal. “It’s so much easier to see all the things we missed out on,” she said. “That also made things so much better going back to normal following the pandemic.”

– Lee Kling

Nicholas Romano

Nicholas Romano is a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering: “The effect that the pandemic has had on my education these past 2 years is it has disconnected me from the classroom; everything can be done online and there is no reason to leave your room. That social aspect of learning was taken away and has negatively had an impact on connecting with my class and teachers.”

Makenna Casterline

Makenna Casterline is a sophomore majoring in Biology. “COVID-19 affected a lot of aspects of learning and school for me, but what it affected most in my life was my social life. I wasn’t able to see my friends as much, see people, or really talk to anyone, and it made it harder in school.”

–  Kai O’Brien

Will Galasso

Will Galasso is majoring in Cyber Security: “The pandemic deeply limited my college choices and it removed any days off that I would have had normally. It also helped with meeting with professors and other extracurricular activities like the communications center.”

Matthew Sabatini is majoring in Basic Administration. “The pandemic provided me with a lot of distractions because we were all online so we had access to anything that we wanted like Youtube and social media. So my focus on school was way down.”

– Jack Fennell

Victor Pineda is a junior majoring in Computer Science: “For me, I thought the Covid restrictions were too big of a change. I had to take a two-year break. I only really came back because the restrictions were lifted. The environment … your home. I don’t find it easy, learning. You’re not going to push yourself at your house.” 

Victor Pineda

Grace Radcliff is a junior majoring in Environmental Sciences: “It’s been 50/50. I came in here in 2020. It was full blown already for my major. I like to be taught in class. It’s still easy; it’s just determined on the class.” 

Grace Radcliff

Oliver Grey

Ty Schumacher (left) and Andrew Langemak

The Spartan spoke with some students at the Johnson Dining Hall.  Ty Schumacher and Andrew Langemak were working a booth for Student Senate.   

Ty Schumacher:  “I would say that I was much less involved in class. I don’t wanna say ‘less educated’ but I feel like I didn’t learn as much because of online classes.”

Andrew Langemak: “I was a freshman last year, which was the first year that campus came out of the pandemic and being virtual.  It was a learning curve for both the administration and the students to be more social.  I felt like I didn’t get the same experience of some of my upperclassmen … but I think it’s definitely on the up now.”

Nate Leakway

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