About a couple of days after the festivities of Christmas and the New Year, I started to mentally prepare myself for the spring semester. I prepped for the continuation of my hard work and achievements from the fall and carried that momentum with me into a new year. However, something keeps itself deep in the back of my mind as I watch the news and look on social media.
The nation during the holidays and winter break was in the middle of the Omicron surge, and the results speculated the possibilities of schools shutting down once more.
I remain convinced that closure wouldn’t be a reality. I had been a student during the early days of the pandemic and decided to take a gap year because of it. I watched as my little brother completed his high school classes online. I discussed with my former high school classmates, who attended different colleges, how our universities were handling the outbreak. One thing we all agreed on was our distaste of online classes.
Having a family member who continues to be a teacher throughout these troubling times, I have the utmost respect for those who go down the teaching profession path. It wasn’t their fault for COVID, or the lack of time and/or resources to establish competent online courses.
However, my own experience with online classes was a major factor in my decision to take a gap year between my schooling. The lack of communication and presence in the lectures was very present in my online classes. I felt like I wasn’t learning anything, on top of paying tuition prices as if I was in person. So I decided to step back.
Coming to Bowling Green this semester in person was the change I needed to get my academics back in line. I enjoyed being able to go into the library and research books. I enjoyed the many activities on and off campus like sporting events or typical college parties. Besides the masks, which were a constant reminder of the times we are in, life for the first time in a while felt normal.
Back to 2022, about a few days after New Year’s, my family received a voicemail from the local school board. The message said that the local school was going to extend the extension of the winter break due to Omicron.
This at first didn’t concern me. I was more jealous of my brother getting another week off from school. However, when a friend of mine texted me that classes at the University of Cincinnati were moved online for two weeks, that’s when I started to panic.
I then proceeded to message my friends I met at BGSU if they heard anything regarding any change in policy. They said they heard nothing. A couple days later, I got an email from BGSU about the COVID-19 policy. I was able to calm down and get back to preparing for my classes.
COVID-19 wasn’t going to ruin my semester!
However this anxiety around the possibility of going back to the early days of the coronavirus probably affected more people than just me. I know that professors might’ve gotten caught again having to assemble another course online. I am happy that BGSU will remain open and most importantly in-person.
That doesn’t mean we ignore the environment around us. Omicron will be an issue like the Delta variant before it. I will continue to do what is required of me, like wear a mask, get my shots and socially distance if that means I get to continue my in-person learning experience at BGSU.