Voice file photo by Dylan River Beck
By Sade Scales - Adair
Living in a pandemic is something we’ve gotten relatively used to. We know that we have to maintain six feet apart, wear masks in public spaces, and keep our hands clean and away from our faces. However, we haven’t been in class since March, so does anyone know what to expect when college students return to campus?
Even though cases of the coronavirus have gone up in colleges and universities, some students at NCC are attending classes on campus. As one of those students, I have seen what it is like to be on campus first hand. I did not have much of a say whether or not I wanted to attend classes on campus. Since it’s my last semester the options for remote classes were limited. But to say the least, it is an interesting experience that remote students--who strictly attend classes online--don’t get to come across.
On the first day, the campus parking lot was bare. For the two years that I have attended NCC, I have only seen the campus parking lot packed to the brim; seeing the lot not even half full was shocking. For a second, I forgot that we were in a global pandemic--things were not going to be normal. No matter where you go a mask is required and that rule is very strict, especially since we want to lower the risk of spreading germs to others. I bet you’re wondering what it is like wearing a mask for long periods of time while you’re in the buildings.
Since we have been in quarantine I have gotten used to wearing my mask for 30 minutes tops, so adjusting to wearing a mask for three-plus hours was sort of hard. You easily run out of breath especially when you’re walking to the other side of campus or talking for long periods of time. The best way my professor described it is like being thirsty for water but the water you want is fresh air. I can only imagine how the professors feel about talking non-stop and not being able to breathe properly. But as much as I don’t like wearing a mask, that doesn’t mean I will put myself and others at risk. So, students attending campus classes, please wear your masks correctly to protect yourself and everyone else in the building.
Besides wearing a mask, there are other strict regulations to protect everyone. In the bathrooms, only three people can be in there at a time and every other stall is open. But if you’ve been an NCC student for some time you know that around the afternoon things start to pick up and there’s constantly people going in and out of the bathrooms. Well, this time around it’s very rare for another person to be in the bathroom with you.
Another aspect that takes some getting used to is physically being in the classroom. Each room is set up for social distancing. Like the bathrooms, every other seat is open for students to sit at and most classes are held in the bigger rooms with more space. At first, I was very skeptical about going back because the classrooms I was used to were very small and cramped. However, I do feel more comfortable being in a bigger room. Although, being in a bigger room is safer it’s harder to hear when the professor or other students are speaking through their masks.
Overall, attending classes on campus isn’t too bad but it’s going to take some time to get used to. I have hope that students and faculty can make it through the semester safely.