Students reflect on Zoom experience after traditional fall semester announcement

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The recent announcement of a traditional fall semester brings a transition from Zoom classes back to in-person classes for the vast majority of courses.

“I’m a big fan (of the traditional semester). I feel like I need that personal interaction of having an in-person class. I’m pretty hyped to be back (in the fall),” 24-year-old senior Keil Nicholas said.

The return of in-person classes allows for more authentic discussion compared to the awkwardness of breakout rooms, Nicholas said.

“Zoom can be kind of frustrating because it’s not super conducive to a roundtable-style of class and learning environment,” Nicholas said.

Students have been attending Zoom classes since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The vast majority of classes will be offered in person this fall semester. (Rebekah Baker/BYU Photo)

Even though the return of in-person classes is a much-anticipated one for some students, others will miss the time saved by attending Zoom classes.

“I think (I’ll miss) the time I saved from walking to and from campus. I think those minutes add up, so you end up with a lot of extra time. I might miss that a little bit,” Nicholas said.

Beyond saving time in commuting to in-person class, Zoom classes allowed for students with health concerns to remain engaged.

“I tend to get sick easily, I have a weak immune system, so it was really nice to have an option to still be able to go to class, but stay home. I wasn’t missing anything,” 21-year-old senior Stela Martinez said.

Before the pandemic Martinez would miss school if her immune system became compromised, but with Zoom she can stay connected from home.

“When it was back to normal, I had to miss so much school because I would be gone for a week and it’d be hard to catch up. I’m going to miss having the option of being able to attend class, but not having to physically go,” Martinez said.

Even with the convenience Zoom provides, Martinez is excited for a traditional fall semester.

“I’m excited because I learn better in person and I tend to keep myself more engaged. I’m just excited to finally be back to quote on quote normal, to be able to engage with my classmates and to be connected with my professors,” Martinez said.

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