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Students share their experience being back in the classroom

As the Seton Hall community continue to adjust to fully in-person classes, there’s been a mix of opinions on how the semester has gone so far from students.

Miabella Espaillat, a sophomore business major, said she feels that remote classes offer things that in-person classes cannot and vice versa.

“Remote classes normally allow me to be more outspoken and motivate me to be more self-reliant because it’s up to me to stay on task,” Espaillat said. “However, in-person classes allow me to build in-person connections that I can’t get remotely.”

Espaillat said that after her recent experience in quarantine, she would like to see the University offer Hyflex instruction again.

“I recently got COVID-19, and from rumors it came from other people in classrooms, so it [Hyflex instruction] would probably lessen my chance again,” Espaillat said.

Shelly Han, a junior mathematical finance and IT management double major, said that being in person has made it easier to participate in class and develop personal relationships with professors.

“With remote, I would be distracted with my phone sometimes, but being in-person, there’s more engagement, and it’s nice to just see everyone and be able to actually connect with the professor because you get to learn a lot from them, too,” Han said.

Han said that last school year was particularly challenging considering the three-hour time difference between the east and west coasts. Han added that she was sometimes required to wake up as early as 4 a.m. to take her exams and register for classes.

Julie Myhal, a junior journalism major, said the newly livened campus has encouraged her to limit distractions and engage more outside the classroom as well.

“I know that for me I definitely can focus better in person and appreciate being with other people more,” Myhal said. “It’s been a transition just because I was used to being by myself in my room for a year-and-a-half, but it’s been good so far.”

Natalie Tran, a sophomore elementary education and special education major, said she has enjoyed having the opportunity to student teach in-person. Tran said that the accommodations made by the school she works in has helped her students adjust well to this new classroom setting.

“Every student has to wear a mask at all times, and we have dividers at each table to ensure that the kids distance themselves from each other,” Tran said. “You’d think that the students would work less efficiently with these limitations; however, they’re actually very well-behaved and always work diligently.”

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Despite the relief of being back in person, students have expressed that there are aspects of the remote setting they have missed.

“The take-home exams, open notes, and professors' understanding of personal problems is a perk I miss,” Espaillat said.

Han noted that while she is glad to be back on campus, the transition has had a notable impact on her daily routine.

“It is not as flexible as before where I could just hop on a meeting, end it, and then do whatever I wanted to at home,” Han said. “Now, I have to plan 20 minutes ahead and then walk to class. And then, sometimes you see people on the way, so you start talking to them, and then you’re like, ‘Oh no, I’m going to be late for class!’”

Putting the perks of remote classes aside, students, like Han, are excited to be back on campus.

“It’s been really nice being back on campus again and seeing everyone in class, and, you know, meeting your friends,” Han said. “In person, the professor is really able to increase engagement, and I feel like I learn much better that way, so I really enjoy being in person.”

 Peyton Hruska can be reached at peyton.hruska@student.shu.edu.



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