What’s it like to return to campus for your final year post-pandemic? The Insider spoke with two seniors, Ashley McNamara, a secondary education major, and Benjamin Pisano, a communications major and history minor, to find out.
Q: How has this semester been going so far?
A: McNamara: “Overall, pretty good! So far this has been my favorite semester at Pitt. I am really sad that I’m a senior.”
Q: Has anything good surprised you this semester?
A: McNamara: “The good parts have been amazing this semester, coming back to in-person classes has allowed me to finally meet my friends that I only knew in an online universe. It has been amazing to make those connections with people in real life. I do sometimes miss having classes online though, there was less pressure going to college online.”
A: Pisano: “I thought maybe it would feel more different on campus than it was. It almost feels normal, except for the masks. It’s all a necessary precaution, though.”
Q: Has anything bad surprised you this semester?
A: McNamara: “The bad of this semester so far has been with the transition of being online to fully in person. I feel like I had to retrain myself to be in a classroom and teach myself time-management. I have really been procrastinating this semester.”
Q: How does this semester differ compared to this time last year?
A: Pisano: “The main difference was there were virtual classes, which was harder. Sometimes I’d turn on zoom, and during the class be distracted by my phone, especially when we didn’t need to have our camera on. I feel like i’m more inclined to participate in person … The breakout rooms were pretty uncomfortable and it was tough finding ways to fill the allotted time.”
Q: How does taking tests in-person feel after only virtual tests in the mid-pandemic semesters?
A: McNamara: “I did not miss in-person tests. Being in person again made me realize how bad my test anxiety is. I didn’t have to worry about that as much with online testing.”
A: Pisano: “It feels about the same. Doing the virtual tests and having a computer in front of me actually distracted me more.”
Q: How has the adjustment been socially? Has it been difficult to meet new people?
A: McNamara: “The most difficult part isn’t meeting people in my opinion. It is how to not be so awkward when talking to people in person. It’s like I forgot how to speak and act around people in real life!”
Q: Have you noticed any changes (good or bad) from learning in-person?
A: McNamara: “I like learning in person, but it’s just different now that I have experienced online learning. It honestly is a love hate relationship between learning virtually and in person. There is good and bad for both!”