The Next Semester

By Mac Pomeroy

On Monday, Nov. 2, Youngstown State University announced plans for students to continue with the same delivery method as this semester. Upon hearing the news, I know I wasn’t the only one who groaned.

Of course, during these uncertain times, we must take precautions. I understand why the university felt jamming a dozen or more students into a classroom is not a good idea currently, because it isn’t.  There are very few spaces on campus able to host 10 students and allow for proper social distancing measures.

While I do understand, I am not enthusiastic. I have said it in a prior article, and I will say it again. In my junior and senior year of high school, I attended an online academy. I struggled and I did not enjoy my experience. I vowed to never do that again, but dear COVID-19 had other plans.

Just as I suspected, I did not enjoy this semester either. I felt like most of what I liked about college was now gone. Prior, I loved attending YSU. I loved coming to campus every day, meeting new people, gaining new opportunities.

At college, I felt as though my life was making a bit more sense.

Now, however, it feels impersonal. Even during Zoom classes, I am staring at a screen that has now become a sanctuary for my mind. All of my classmates are there, all of my work is there. Life has gone from a daily routine of running about campus to simply pulling over a laptop and working.

It is absolutely bitter.

However, I also need to remember that in the grand scheme of everything going on, another semester online isn’t that big of a deal. I won’t get into a lot of detail about what all is happening— that is not the purpose of my column, nor do I wish to accidentally put out a misinformed opinion. Even with my own personal life, I have bigger issues than another semester online.

But that doesn’t make it any less awful. Many of my friends are deciding how they intend to continue forth with pursuing their education. Some of my friends found they did better online, and are just fine. Some are struggling, but will keep going, while a few are taking next semester off, and one has dropped out entirely.

It is up to us to decide what is best. No one can answer that question but ourselves.

As the semester approaches its end, it is becoming time to close the book of fall 2020 and focus on what tomorrow has to offer. The good and the bad. Thankfully, it still isn’t over, so we have time to wrap it all up.

Keep going strong, Penguins. We will get through this semester!