FAMU ’24 adjusts to online classes

Illustration of desk and computer. Photo courtesy Google Images

Online courses can be difficult for many college students, but for incoming freshmen, they add an additional layer of understanding, focus, and complexity to the process of adjusting to college. This can make a remote semester very difficult to adapt to, particularly if they have never taken an online class. 

In high school, classes often involve more instructor interaction with students that guides them through a process in-depth — than college courses.

Jazlyn Byrd, a chemistry pre-medicine student from Orlando, Florida, isn’t too thrilled with the virtual atmosphere. 

“Life on campus has been really well,” Byrd said. “I have met some great people and have been able to still have fun while being safe. The college experience I wanted to experience on the highest of seven hills did not happen.”

Jahari Whyms, a freshman from Tampa, Florida, is upset with the switch from personal to virtual.

“Transitioning from high school to a virtual college semester is very hard. I am so accustomed to having a teacher in my face and having my peers or classmates around me,” Whyms said. “Some people are okay with it and some aren’t. Some people can’t adjust to it, and I am one of those students who can’t adjust… We were not prepared nor trained for this.”

Research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase the retention of information and doesn’t require a lot of time. With this sudden shift away from in-person classrooms in different parts of this country, some students are wondering whether the adoption of online learning will continue to persist post-pandemic.

Jalen Henderson, an out-of-state freshman, says that this virtual semester is more than what he expected.

“I actually really like FAMU as a campus, but I hate that I didn’t get to experience some of the traditions,” Henderson said. “Despite the virtual classes not being as easy as I thought, I have been networking and trying to meet new friends.”

Learning how to personally navigate online learning is more independent and requires a great deal of self-discipline. While you may have Zoom lectures and Canvas assignments on set days and at specific times, you will likely also have course requirements that you must manage yourself.

Whether you have taken an online course before or not, it is possible to have a successful semester despite classes being virtual. Here are some tips you should know: 

  1. Use a planner or calendar to manage your time wisely and  set yourself on a timely schedule. Also, these two tools will help allow you to keep track of when assignments are due. 
  2. Always set your alarm clocks the night before, to make sure you are on time for your virtual classes. Attendance is very important!
  3. Wear a mask and practice the six-feet social distancing rule when hanging with friends, to ensure you are still being safe.