Students share plans for rest of semester

Luke Taylor, Associate News Editor

While the Fall 2020 semester has not had as many unexpected interruptions as the past spring semester, dealing with school during the COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge for many students.

COVID-19 case numbers have been rising all across the U.S. over the past weeks, so Eastern’s administration chose to shift remaining in-person and hybrid classes over to being fully online. With this change, students were given the option to stay home after Thanksgiving break, but many felt that staying on campus would have more advantages.

Karolyn Zaret Leon Gonzalez, a junior biological sciences major, chose to stay on campus for the last two weeks of class, then return home for finals week.

“I’m planning on taking my finals in my front porch in my house in Puerto Rico and then staying there until next semester,” Leon Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said that she was adapting well to online classes, but she did have some negative feelings about the Fall semester as a whole, especially with what she considered to be monetary issues.

“I feel it’s unfair how we still have to pay the same price we normally pay for in person classes for the online classes, when it’s not our decision,” Gonzalez said. “It is also unfair how we don’t have the option for not paying fees for like for example the REC center when clearly the majority [of students] aren’t using it.”

Emma Beck, a junior psychology major, made the decision to come back to school after break due to on-campus employment. She works at the front desk in Thomas Hall.

“Our boss told us that he preferred we come back unless there were extenuating circumstances,” Beck said. “Also, because things are so uncertain right now, I’m worried we won’t be able to come back next semester, so I wanted the last couple weeks with my friends and it’s easier to focus on schoolwork at school, even if it’s in my dorm, so I’d rather be on campus.”

Beck is also involved with other on-campus activities, so she hopes staying on campus will allow her to enjoy them.

“I’m doing my best to stay involved on campus. I’m in Phi Sigma Pi and psychology club, so I do things and go to meetings for those organizations. Also, I’ll be online Christmas shopping.”

Rachel Schell, a sophomore finance major, said she thinks that she will have more success with her homework and classes if she stays in her dorm for the end of the semester.

“I don’t have a place at home where I could study, do homework, or take tests in quiet,” Schell said. “I share a room at home and last semester when we went home, I realized my grades decreased, since it was easier to get distracted.”

Schell said she doesn’t have any big plans for the end of the semester, so she’ll focus on her job and schoolwork.

Alexandra Tinajero Alvarez, a junior human services and leadership major, also decided to stay on campus because she found it easier to focus on homework in her dorm. She said that online classes have made the semester difficult.

“As the end of the semester is approaching quickly, I am feeling overwhelmed with the amount assignments. I do feel confident with my classes, but the stressed feeling is still there,” Alvarez said. “Emotionally this semester has been difficult to adapt   to with my classes being online and I personally prefer in person class. This semester has semester has been stressful adapting to all the new changes and regulations, but I am managing as best as I can, not all has been bad I have gained more technology use knowledge.”

Alvarez said she hoped to take the end of the semester in stride and balance homework and free time.

“For the rest of the semester I plan to focus on all of my coursework and finishing the semester strong and aim to have good grades,” Alvarez said. “While taking time off for myself and having stress-free self care days and enjoying it with my friends here while following COVID regulations.”

While all the students interviewed for this article plan to return to campus, many students do plan to stay at home for various reasons.


Luke Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]