A new term begins

A new term begins, starring bright-eyed students filled with hope that this one will go better than their last. A new term begins, following a New Year where students created resolutions for better study habits and goals of higher grades. A new term begins, except different from the one before. This term begins with a dark cloud over it, a declaration of online classes to be reevaluated at a later date.

This isn’t students' first time hearing this news, no, they’ve gotten used to the hybrid model from years prior, and although they have been through it before, they would never wish to go through it again. They hear another announcement: online classes have been extended to February 7. Filled with despair, they pull themselves out of bed each morning, walk two steps to their desk and resume their Zoom lecture to which they hardly pay attention, scrolling through TikTok instead.

They’ve given up hope that their university experience will ever be normal, instead comparing which year has it worse. Those born in ‘02 never got a first year but ‘99 students never got a senior year; the ‘03s didn’t get a prom but ‘00s are getting their last term stolen. The students debate and debate, but they all know it’s bad for everyone.

Teachers are trying their best, using iClickers to boost engagement and hoping for some sympathy from students that will persuade them to put their cameras on. But alas, the black screens are here to stay, as students don’t want to show their bed head and pajamas. So, breakout rooms it is, in an attempt to make students more comfortable but instead result in five minutes of silence because nobody wants to talk first.

A new term begins and students are back to their old habits of watching the Zoom recordings a week late and saving the readings for the day before the midterm. A new term begins and students have no human contact except for their friends who hopefully came back to campus. A new term begins and all students can do is hope that online classes don’t get extended and one day they can put this virus behind them.