Students Return to In-Person Classes with Hesitation and Hope

Online classes are one of the many changes students and teachers have had to make in order to move forward due to the ongoing pandemic. As Dickinson has finally created a feasible plan to allow students on campus, many professors have made the decision to offer in person classes to their students. 

When asked how in person classes were going, Stephany Salazar ’24 said, “It is much better than Zoom and I feel like we actually participate a lot more. I am sort of getting the college experience.” 

“I definitely feel like I’m learning more in person than online. It’s much easier to stay focused and engaged in what we’re learning,” said Sophie Habecker ’24.

There are numerous reasons why students prefer in person classes to online classes, but sometimes it can be more of a burden than a boon. After becoming accustomed to online classes, it is somewhat of a difficult transition for students to revert to their old habits. 

Riley Martin ’24 wrote, “the in-person class (which I only have one of on occasion) is good because it makes me pay attention more but, at the same time, knowing it’s optional, it is sometimes difficult to get prepared and look ready for the day.”

When asked if she felt like she was having the “college experience”, Bella Rossi ’24 said, “While there are restrictions, yes of course, not everything is going to be as it was, but given the state of the world, I am having a version of the college experience.”

For others however, it has not been as smooth of an experience. “I don’t feel like I’m getting the college experience because a large chunk of the student population is missing and because we don’t have in-person classes. Sometimes I feel lonely because it’s difficult to meet new people,” said Martin ’24.

Most students, however, seem to agree that this experience has been made more positive by how accommodating professors have been. “My professors have been really good about trying to make sure we are all safe and comfortable,” said Habecker.

Professor John MacCormick, associate professor of computer science, was one such professor who made the decision to offer in person classes while simultaneously streaming the class for students who preferred to be online or were unable to be on campus.

When asked how he decided to offer in-person classes, MacCormick said, “I had to consider a number of factors including frequency of classes and safety of the students and myself and made the decision to offer classes in person once a week, so that students would be able to have the in-person experience and I would be able to teach them face to face.” 

While many professors have chosen to begin in person classes, many have continued online classes due to health and safety concerns and as a result, a number of students are still fully online even though they are on campus. While this may come as a concern to many students, it makes very little difference to others.