Students share concerns heading into uncertain semester

Kyara Morales, Staff Reporter

Eastern students have returned to campus, coming with their hopes that the school year will be a good one. Like any other school year, they also come with worries and anxieties about how their time at EIU will turn out.

Unlike any other school year though, a powerful factor weighs in on students’ concern for the return to campus: the Coronavirus outbreak. Since Covid-19 started spreading in late December, a lot has changed around the world.

This pandemic has affected the lives of everybody around the world, including people in the EIU community.

With mask requirement, social distancing, online classes, and many other decisions made to limit the spread of the virus in the Eastern community, it is hard to not feel stressed and overwhelmed.

On top of all the usual concerns that EIU students already have, they have to worry about how to keep the community safe and how to successfully make it through the school year.

Kassandra Garcia, junior human services major, has an anxiety disorder which greatly affects how she goes into the school year.

“Every year, I have to see how [professors] would work around my accommodations. Some teachers are very understanding and some are not as understanding,” Garcia said.

Garcia is also concerned about how the pandemic will affect her school year. 

“I’m honestly confused. I don’t know how in-person classes will be and how online classes will be. All this will either affect our health or our learning. I don’t know how to feel about it,” Garcia said.

Jordan Samuel, junior digital media major, is taking all online classes but seeing as he usually works with computers, he is not worried about that. He is, however, worried about not interacting with his professors or classmates in an easier manner.

“It would be nice to have someone to talk to in person. With online classes, there is a distance between students and professors,” Samuel said.

Blake Meadows, senior biology major, is taking both in-person and online classes.

“I’m worried about taking classes online that were originally supposed to be in-person. I feel like making that switch makes the classes a bit more difficult than a regular online class,” Meadows said.

As for her in-person classes, she is excited to see people after a summer of social distancing. Despite that, she is worried that Covid cases will start getting higher as the weeks go by, especially considering not everybody follows the rules put in place to limit spreading.

“Some people just don’t care. People act like their rights are being taken so they won’t wear masks but it’s like no, they are used to protect you,” Meadows said.

Luis Paniagua, junior digital media major, is also concerned about how seriously the Eastern community is taking this pandemic and how it could continue to affect the school year. Though he is excited to be back at Eastern, he does not feel completely safe here.

“It’s concerning that some people refuse to wear a mask or choose to hang out in big groups. Stricter regulations should be put in place to make sure people are following the rules. When you don’t wear your mask, you are putting others at risk,” Paniagua said.

Due to the regulations put in place, Paniagua is taking all online classes, and though he is concerned about that, he thinks things could be a lot more worrisome.

“[Online classes] are not a big concern to me considering the situation we are in. It would have been more of a concern if classes were in-person. The safest thing right now is taking online classes,” Paniagua said.


Kyara Morales can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]