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For the past year and a half, students across the country have had to adjust to taking classes in a remote setting. As this new style of learning was built on Zoom lectures and asynchronous course material, the way students interact with both professors and peers has completely changed. For some students, remote learning has allowed them to flourish. For others, it has done the complete opposite. As we begin transitioning back to an on-campus learning environment, students need to be given proper resources by their universities and professors in order to succeed. From having the option to take classes remotely to the way in which they are assigned course work, students should feel comfortable and fully prepared to tackle the fall quarter. 

The same students who had virtual high school graduations are now being dropped off at college and are expected to make the switch to higher education on their own. Going from Zoom meetings to face-to-face lectures is no easy feat. Universities should be more considerate of students who may be suffering with anxieties about returning to campus by offering mental health services both on and off campus. Resources like Counseling & Psychological Services. should be made more easily accessible to students, no matter their location. Students should feel supported by their educational institutions, and universities need to foster student trust in the transitional process. 

A big part of this is the way in which students are interacting with their course work. Taking a test in a remote setting is much different than taking one in a crowded lecture hall. Professors should be more considerate to how much their students have had to adapt in an online environment. Assigning tests and other assignments in person may hinder some students’ ability to succeed. Constantly worrying about if the person sitting next to you is properly wearing their mask can quickly become distracting. On the other hand, other students may have developed test-taking strategies that simply can not be transferred to an in-person environment, like sitting in a safe space, playing relaxing music or even petting their dog. As we progress through the academic year, students should be able to work their way back to normal in-person activities rather than being thrown in to adapt on their own. As a result, continuing the use of online platforms like Canvas and Zoom could be very beneficial. 

After navigating through a global pandemic for almost two years, students should be given the space to adjust. Pursuing higher education is already a difficult task on its own, and adding anything on top of that only makes it more challenging. If students feel like they need to continue learning remotely in order to succeed, they should be given that option. Universities should embrace the hybrid learning environment because it only makes education more accessible. Educational institutions’ number one priority should be providing their students with all the resources they could possibly need to do so.

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