October 21, 2020

Since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most in-person classes at Conestoga, many programs have had to make a change of plans. 

Course delivery and semester plans had to be adapted to fit with students and staff working on their programs from home, but for students who are farther away from the Kitchener-Waterloo area it’s a little more difficult. 

“College is about meeting people and making new connections … I can’t really do that stuff at all,” Leah Kragelj, first-year business student at Conestoga, said about the experience of online classes so far.

With it being Leah’s first year at the college, she feels that she and her classmates are missing out on the experience of going away to college. Currently living in Brantford, Ont., she finds that the college has made it difficult for her to get her supplies without traveling to Doon Campus.

“It’s been a difficult adjustment for everyone I think. We’re just trying to make the best of it.”

Other students in Brantford seem to be having similar issues. 

John Irvine, a second year business student, also living in Brantford finds he’s struggling with the online change. His program requires a lot of focus and he’s finding that it’s difficult to keep track of his work from home.

“I feel very disorganized, like I can’t quite keep track of everything that’s going on in my program. I feel like instead of learning anything I’m just doing assignments for grades. It’s very stressful”.

Not only are these changes stressful but the added problem of being so far away from the college and some resources make it even harder. While staff at conestoga are trying their best to adapt courses to these changes, there’s no way to fit everyone’s learning needs. 

The college has reached out with Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) making some changes to how they are available to students for help, activities, and a new addition “The Virtual Venue.” Here they host Bingo, Trivia Tuesday, Late at 8, Live Music Thursdays, and more for the students to enjoy. As well there are still resources available for students struggling with adjustments, tech issues and general issues with courses. 

However it doesn’t take away from the fact that students are still feeling overwhelmed and under-prepared for the changes COVID-19 has made on this year’s college plans.

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