Almost one year after the COVID-19 pandemic started, students are still adjusting to the online learning format.

When asked how virtual classes have been affecting her, Brea Galvin, a junior communication studies major, said her grades have remained about the same, but her ability to understand information has changed. She claims that virtual learning has hurt her mental health.

“I think that we should try as best we can to be in person,” Galvin said. “People come to Otterbein for a reason- for the hands on learning experience.”

Galvin’s opinion seems to be common among Otterbein students. Ellie Newman, a sophomore communication studies major, said “I’ve felt myself go into spurts of sadness due to the pandemic. I was so excited to meet people and make friends in college, but the pandemic put that on halt a little bit.”

          

According to Newman, her grades have remained the same, but online learning has been more challenging in terms of focusing and understanding material. When students are put in a classroom with little to no distractions, it is much easier to focus versus when they are in the comfort of their own home.

“I have become lonely from learning online,” Newman said, “I want to be in a normal classroom setting. I feel happier when I am able to take classes on campus.”

Students like to be around other students. It helps them get their work done. Even though learning from home is something all Otterbein students are used to by now, they do not feel like they are benefitting from it. 

          

Sydney Dials, a sophomore music performance major, said “when it was the fall of 2020, about 2-3 of my classes were hybrid and the rest were online out of fifteen classes.” She continued by saying, “I believe once the numbers go down and people get vaccinated, we could slowly start getting better. But the music department may not be the same for a bit.”