Students adapt to online classes, but some admit they struggle with the change to virtual learning

Kameran Fleets, Hannah Sawyer, and Wesley Smith

Just a few weeks into the semester, many students are struggling with distance learning.

“I hate having classes online,” said Rob Cryns, a senior Communication student.

Cryns is not alone. Since 84% of courses are either all online or a hybrid of online and in-class, everyone has an opinion.

William Stratton, a senior Information Technology student, is frustrated about how difficult it is to coordinate with classmates when all are working remotely.

“I am used to discussing work with friends in person,” he said. “Finding time to communicate with them via Discord just does not work when everyone has different schedules. We all function differently and some of us can’t exactly wake up at 8:30 a.m. to attend a Zoom call when we worked the night before.”

Senior Mechanical Engineering student Fernando Mendoza is exasperated by the fact that online classes have inhibited his ability to communicate face-to-face with instructors, which he feels is necessary to completely understand the material.

“I personally prefer class being in-person because you can stay after class and ask the teacher questions,” he said. “It’s easier to explain something in [person] than it is through email.”

Tyler Judon, a senior Communication student, worries that the transition to distance learning has not been beneficial.

“I feel like I am not really learning anything,” he said.

But even students who are not thrilled with distance learning find something good to say about the experience.

Mendoza, who has just 40 minutes to travel from an in-person class he has on the Hammond campus to his home in Crown Point for an online course, said his professor was immediately sympathetic to his needs.

“The first day of class, I let him know there might be some days I’m going to be a little late due to traffic because the highway is always unpredictable,” he said. “I was like, there might be a day I might be 15 minutes late, give or take. He said that’s fine, don’t worry, just show up.”