Students reflect on adjusting to COVID-19 college life


Ryan Ash

A pair of students wearing masks sit in the grass in the middle of the Ikenberry Commons on Sunday. Since the semester looks much different than in years past, students are adapting to life during a pandemic.

By Features Staff

With the University’s hybrid approach for returning to classes this semester, students’ day-to-day lives vary widely. The Daily Illini interviewed several students to assess how well they were adapting to being college students during a pandemic.

Anthony Crespa, Senior in ACES 

Well, honestly, I’m not feeling too great about the semester. On one hand, I feel like I have a lot more free time, but on the other hand, I feel like teachers almost care less about telling us what’s happening. I have about three classes right now where I have no idea what’s happening, and I have major projects due — one on Wednesday and one tomorrow. I don’t actually know the name of this class, which might be more on me than anyone else. That’s life. I don’t really have that much going for me. Mostly I’m just enjoying hobbies and not leaving the house whatsoever. I’ve started brewing alcohol.

Kailey Bambula, Senior in FAA 

I’ll start off by telling you I have a monthly calendar in my room, and there are only a couple days where there’s nothing in them. If I were to pick one word that would describe how I’m feeling, it’s overwhelmed. I’ve managed it better this week than the first two weeks, so I feel like there’s an adjustment period. But I do still feel the anxieties of due dates. They feel looming, like they’re hovering over me, and I’m just scared. There’s always something else. I feel like I can’t take a break, even though I know I should, but I almost want to power through just so I can get things done. For me, it’s definitely about getting things done. I’m just trying to get through it.

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    Lauren Kim, Junior in AHS 

    I feel like my experience isn’t really positive or negative; I’m just in the middle. I’m okay. The only thing that sucks is not being able to see friends and the whole virtual thing. I just don’t like being stuck inside. Other than that, I feel like the University’s been doing a good job, like with tracking the number of cases.

    Jiho Kahng, Junior in LAS 

    It’s been going really well. Initially, because I was so caught up in the fact that my environment at home was really bad, I didn’t really consider the pros of having online classes, and also the classes themselves were not prepared for online classes … the Zoom sessions allow for more collaboration between the students. When people are confused, they can ask other students in the comment section, and people help each other out.

    Hanaa Khan, Freshman in LAS

    The way that classes are structured has made it more accessible for me. Most of my professors record their lectures during the live class and then post them on whatever website they use for students to peruse on their own time. This really makes it easier for me in some of my harder classes because I can replay the lectures or parts of the lecture as many times as I want until I get whatever concept I was confused on.

    Hiba Ahmed, Junior in Business 

    COVID has made it more difficult for me to explore my interest in more RSOs this semester, but it has made me admire how committed students are to creating positive change on campus despite the challenges COVID poses.

    Amina Malik, Senior in LAS

    COVID has affected me most in my work atmosphere; usually, there are many people working in our office, and researchers coming in and out. All of that has stopped now, and at most two people are allowed to work onsite. That definitely affects the work environment and flow of the day. We also have to be really careful in retrieving archival material, each book or manuscript has to be quarantined for at least four days, so we are developing easier ways to digitize and make content accessible online.

    Drew Howard, Fifth-year Senior in LAS

    I’m a pretty social person ,and being physically able to go to a classroom was one of the things that I think helped me stay well in-tune with a schedule and pacing, so now it’s very self-oriented, and if I can set the alarm and do the thing versus (having) a physical destination I have to be at with the thing. It’s just a different locus of control. I don’t think it’s been too bad, I just wish people would do what they needed to do so we could use our full facilities and it wouldn’t be irresponsible to use the (Main Quad). I’m not even comfortable to just hang out on the (Main) Quad, even though I would love to.

    [email protected]