The pandemic altered college life for all students during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Classes moved online. Dining halls and student hangouts were closed. Spring breaks were cancelled. Visiting friends in different dorms became a no-no.
“I would say that Covid truly negatively affected my life in college,” said Sergiu Senciuc, a Romanian student in his first year studying international relations at the University of Lisbon in Portugal. “I think the fact that I had online classes and had spent more time indoors than in school with friends was also very tiring and monotonous.”
The issues were both social and academic.
“Well, at first I stopped going to college and lost contact with a huge part of the friends I had,” said Rui Pedro Inacio, who studies computer science, engineering, and multimedia in Lisbon. “There aren’t the same conditions. Not just teaching, but also the willingness to learn.”
But it wasn’t all bad.
“The pros are, you are literally having a class that you can record, listen to at your own pace, and you can just listen to it later,” said Inacio, 22.
“I could join my class anytime,” said Amanda Carter, 19, a rising sophomore at Elon University in North Carolina. “I could be in my bed and join my classes. The freedom of joining your class anytime you want.”
With the number of vaccinations increasing and the number of infections decreasing, college students are hoping for a return to normal next semester.
“Everything should get back to normal,” Carter said. “We’re not going to have any online classes. So all of our classes are going to be in-person. So honestly, everything is going back to normal. So we can have a regular school year and college experience like they did before Covid.”
Senciuc is hopeful, as well.
“I hope for the situation to get better,” he said, and “for Covid to disappear or drastically decrease. For my grades to be good. The friends to be nice and the teachers pleasant. And, yeah, for the best to happen.”