June 28, 2022

COVID-19 has taken a toll on everyone, including first-year students at Conestoga College.

Many have been stressed with it all being online or hybrid and starting a new chapter in their lives, but in a very different way, not what they expected college to be like.

Sept. 8 was the big day as students hopped on their laptops to head to class on Zoom.

With COVID-19 making it difficult for face-to-face learning, colleges made the decision to have classes online or hold hybrid classes to limit interaction at the college and enforce social distancing.

There will be many challenges faced by first-year students getting into the college lifestyle and transitioning from high school to college which is a big step in their education. Not being able to experience the true college life with different clubs and events, they may be the first one to experience the new normal.

Asking first-year students what it is like transitioning to college first-year BScN Nursing student Jordan Wilhelm, in a phone interview said: “It took some getting used to, the workload was definitely different. There was lots of information that I had to retain on the first day, whether it was starting my readings or even going through each syllabus.”

For others, it wasn’t too bad, said Owen Windsor first-year Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician at Conestoga College. “Honestly I thought it was going to be a lot harder than it was, but since the school was shut down for me early March, I got used to doing the online classes, so starting Zoom meetings really wasn’t that difficult for me,” he said.

Windsor also pointed out saying the only thing he was frustrated about was how disorganized the school was because there wasn’t enough information going and schedules were given to everyone relatively late. 

The future for colleges has drastically changed due to COVID-19, making most classes online with limited face to face interaction. Students must change their learning habits and face challenges that will come with online schooling.

When asking students what they think the future holds for college students in years to come, Wilhelm said, “As the year goes on and the pandemic continues, I think that schools will try to slowly start to integrate more in-person classes, but still have a majority of classes online.”

Every student has roughly the same idea. Schools may start transitioning slowly; online schooling is becoming a reality and more common. “People thought that you needed to be in class for so many of these things that in reality if it’s not working in a shop you don’t really have to be in class,” said Windsor.

No one’s alone in this and many professors has opened up their time to help students with the transition to online classes. 

“It will get challenging at some points, but this all-new to everyone around the world, and while COVID-19 is still around, it most likely will stay like this for a while,” said Windsor.

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