BYU students have experienced major changes in their day-to-day routines and social lives due to COVID-19.
COVID-19 has affected every student on campus, especially the freshmen who have yet to have the full BYU experience. Not only have freshmen had to adapt to college life, but they also are having to adapt to online learning.
In March when the pandemic hit, BYU had to quickly adapt to a new online learning system in order to continue classes. BYU students began using Zoom and other online platforms to receive classroom instruction. At the time, online learning felt temporary to students, but now these online learning platforms are fully implemented this semester.
“At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, I saw the online learning platforms as more of a temporary solution. As we have been using an online approach this semester, I have started to realize that this will be the new normal for a while,” said freshman Peyton Burr.
The adjustment to college academic coursework can already be challenging for freshmen as they start school, but now freshmen are having to manage difficult classes through online instruction.
“I had to quickly learn how to adapt to online classes. One thing that has helped me adapt is utilizing my resources that I do have,” freshman Abby Direda said. “I have reached out to my professors more than I normally would, and it has helped me to be more successful in my class work.”
Social events that normally occur on campus have also been affected by COVID-19.
Normally freshmen are able to attend events such as freshmen orientation, sports games and devotionals. Now, these events have been canceled or are held virtually.
“I definitely feel like I have missed out on the social aspect of my college experience. I have only made a few new friends because I have been trying hard to be careful with COVID-19 restrictions,” said Direda.
Freshman Kennedy Liljenquist said she has adapted to these social changes by being more involved in her ward. “It is hard to meet new people since I am hardly on campus. I have found a lot of new friends through my ward, and that has helped me adapt to these unusual circumstances,” Liljenquist said.
The BYU freshmen of 2020 have had one of the most unique first-year experiences in BYU history. Academically and socially, this year has been different than any other year and for now, freshmen are learning how to adapt to this new normal.