Auburn University recently announced that modifications will be made to the calendar of the upcoming spring semester, as well as having the majority of classes offered in-person. These changes have left some students feeling frustrated, while others are hopeful for the effects that the changes will bring.
“I cannot think of the benefit of canceling spring break,” said Grace Johnson, freshman in exploratory science. “I do not think that replacing spring break with ‘wellness days’ is helpful because of all that we’ve been through this fall semester.”
Rosa Waite, sophomore in visual media, said she looks at canceling spring break as a benefit because the University is adding wellness days to the calendar in place of spring break, as well as changing the dates on which classes will end.
“While most students that I’ve talked to aren’t super happy about the new schedule, I think they’ll be glad to have the days off when they happen,” Waite said. “I’m kind of excited about ending the semester earlier than usual.”
Johnson said she appreciates that the University is giving students wellness days, but still feels that is important to have a spring break.
“The University probably had good intentions by attempting to introduce wellness days; however, the end result will still be unfortunate for most of us,” she said. “It frustrates me because spring break is something that people plan months ahead, whether it’s formal plans or planning to do nothing which can be refreshing, and now it’s just gone.”
Despite this, both students say they are looking forward to having more face-to-face and blended courses that will be offered in the spring semester, as opposed to having most of their classes online.
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“I feel that students will get more attention, better help and a higher understanding of materials with in-person [and] blended courses,” Johnson said. “Almost everyone I know that is taking online [or] asynchronous courses either hates them or has struggled with them in a way that negatively affected their grades including myself.”
Waite said she is she thinks having more in-person options is the best way to ensure that classes somewhat start to go back to normal.
“I’m excited to do more in-person classes,” Waite said. “Doing blended classes will be a good way to start getting back into the habits of going to class, studying and being on campus.”
The biggest difficulty this semester for Johnson, she said, is the fact her classes have been online, and she feels that it is safe to return to in-person classes if students do their part and wear a mask.
“Some struggles include internet problems, mental health issues, the inability to find certain necessary materials and the lack of structure,” Johnson said. “Going anywhere right now is a risk regardless of feelings, but I plan to continue to obey mask mandates for my own safety and others.”
Waite said she is fine with either blended or face-to-face courses just as long she gets to be in a classroom setting.
“At some point, the University has to move back towards normalcy, and I think next semester is a good time to start,” Waite said.
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