COLUMN: College has changed. And now I hate it


Katja Benz, Columnist

For some students, they do not remember in-person college, let alone in-person school. I, on the other hand, started college in May 2018, which was pre-pandemic.

Honestly, I remember loving my experience at the community college I went to back home. I feel like everyone cared about balancing their academics, social lives and jobs.

I really felt at home at my community college for almost two years that I attended classes there in person. You could find me either in class, at speech team practice or at the on-campus Starbucks studying or chatting with friends.

And then the pandemic hit in March of last year. My college experience, just like everyone else’s, changed overnight.

When my classes shifted to the online format, I thought they would be online for only two weeks, like everyone else. I was frankly mistaken.

To me, college has felt the same since. It almost feels cold and distant, and I miss the “old college.”

By “old college”, I mean being able to freely do activities with your friends and being actively able to go out and meet people without restrictions. I miss going to class without masks.

Now, everything seems to have turned upside down. Everything seems so much different and I almost don’t know how to put it into words.

I miss the old college and the freedom that came with it.

I miss the socialization from “old college.” I feel farther away and I feel like I can relate less to my peers, which for me, as a transfer student, means that I’m having a hard time making friends.

I think that’s mostly to do with the pandemic. The pandemic is still in full force and there are restrictions at the university, not to mention all over the country.

I was hoping the pandemic ended sooner, so that college could go back to normal. But it hasn’t, and it probably won’t go back anytime soon.

I hate the new college because I feel lonelier than I thought I would. I put myself out there, and I love everything I do and everyone I work with, but I have never felt lonelier in my entire life.

I hate college now because I feel like I can’t make a change. As someone that wants to work in higher education, all I want to do is change students’ college experience for the better.

With this “new college”, I can’t do that. At least, not without restrictions.

I can’t help but see that I’m not the only student that feels like this. People feel just as alone as I do.

I know something needs to change. But I don’t know what will change, at least anytime soon.

Katja Benz is a junior English major and Spanish minor. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]