When on-campus activity is gone, students realize they missed out
There have been a lot of changes since institutions largely relying on in-person socialization have been closed to follow safety measures.
It was after NDSU campus was closed that I realized how much I have become a part of this in-person culture. I prefer to go into a class, sit with many other students my age and learn from a professional instructor face-to-face.
In all honesty, I did not cooperate well with the infrastructure of NDSU much farther than that—and the result is a loss of priceless lessons I could have experienced had I actually spent more time cooperating with the living structure of the campus.
That is not to say I did nothing else on campus when it was running. I did work in the agricultural seed faction and I attended school events; although, not as much as I should have. I enjoyed being an introvert. There were full days where I would not set foot out of my apartment walls (something that is not so unusual at the moment).
Being by myself, was, in a sense, a way of coping with my problems. And yet I preferred to walk into a classroom full of people than our current reality involving easily accessible online classes.
The truth is, we as humans love to feel like we have accomplished something simply by working for it. However, this sense of accomplishment can also make us nervous or weary when we are faced with a new way to work for it. Thus, we end up retreating into our own worlds for relief. This method can help in the short run, but really, it will ultimately hurt in the long run.
The fact that classes are online does not cloud the fact that we can still be lazy and not want to access the lecture tutorials more easily at our fingertips.
I, like many others, enjoyed being by myself and doing nothing important. Sometimes I would willingly miss a class time simply because it took place at eight in the morning and I wanted to sleep in (while, at the same time, I was fine with waking up at five in the morning to study).
Now, here I am, enjoying my own company while at the same time being annoyed by it. It was, of course, at the exact same time that I began to grow more proactive and social that the pandemic swept in.
My old way of living can be aptly summarized with a quote from the dog Rolf in The Muppet Movie, “When I finish work, I go home, read a book… take myself for a walk and go to bed.” (He mentioned having a few beers here as well—which I hadn’t done, though I managed everything else.)
Now, here we are taking classes online. As have many, I found this change to be disorienting, but I soon go into the swing of things. The fact that classes are online does not cloud the fact that we can still be lazy and not want to access the lecture tutorials more easily at our fingertips.
Therefore, we must remind ourselves that, in the same way, instructors did not get to take a break from teaching when they switched to an online platform, as we students cannot take breaks from learning even if NDSU is closed during the current pandemic.
When this is over and students return to campus, hopefully, they can bring with them new appreciation. Those activities on campus, the ones you received invitations to in your emails, are there to help you contribute to and feel welcome at your college.
I ignored all of these activities until only a week or two before campus was closed and now I regret all of those missed opportunities.
Sometimes it seems we cannot be comfortable unless we are uncomfortable. But despite the social distancing due to coronavirus, learning events and activities are still being held at the university through an online platform, much like classes.
It should not take a pandemic and unlimited time to yourself to realize how you can better connect with campus. Yet, lots of free time helps us to appreciate those things we otherwise would not have.
I will leave you with a question: If COVID-19 ended tomorrow, and the college opened up for all students to return, would become more involved with campus classes and event, or would you just do the bare minimum?