After more than a year of living in a very isolating pandemic, students are looking forward to coming back in person to the University of New Mexico. The Daily Lobo talked to Lawrence Fisher, an upcoming sophomore, about the five things he’s looking forward to the most at UNM in the fall after spending most of his time in the last year online.
Meeting new people
Fisher said he is looking forward to meeting new people as he attends UNM in person in the fall. Due to the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, students have been very isolated, making them unable to socialize as they would during normal times.
Similar to incoming freshmen, many upcoming sophomores will have an interesting experience next year as they attend college in person for the first time.
Getting out of the house
Fisher, like many students, has been spending a substantial amount of time at home due to the virtual education setting. He looks forward to a change of pace by attending classes on campus in the fall.
“I’m going to intentionally sign up for in-person classes,” Fisher said.
Virtual education mixed with state encouragement to stay at home for the majority of the past year has created a very consistent but dull environment, and Fisher said he hopes to be on campus much more next semester.
Being more productive
The lack of separation between work and home has created a multitude of issues for many people, and Fisher said he just can’t find it in him to be efficient while he’s at home.
“I am so unproductive at home,” Fisher said. “I am way more productive (out of the house) ... At home, I just want to relax.”
In addition, the Washington Post says that work days have actually increased online, both in terms of the average length of the workday as well as the amount of meetings people are attending.
“I feel like I’ll be more productive when I get back (to school) in person and stuff like that, which will give me a sense of accomplishment which will make me feel good about myself,” Fisher said.
Less technology-centered education
As a student with a preference for turning in hard copies of assignments, doing everything online was not an easy transition. Circling back to the idea of being more productive, Fisher said he thinks computers are another aspect of virtual education that provide many opportunities for work interferences.
“It’s so easy for me to get distracted with computers,” Fisher said.
According to the University of Illinois, Springford, one of the main weaknesses of online learning is technology, given that students must have equal access to technology as well as some level of computer literacy in order to succeed. In addition, the site says that even the best computers suffer from breakdowns and are not 100% reliable.
As a former freshman who didn’t have the need to come on campus very often, Fisher hasn’t had the chance to explore the University like typical first-years do.
“I didn’t realize until, like, earlier this week that UNM had a dining (hall),” Fisher said.
However, as the fall semester brings students together again, Fisher is looking forward to finding more resources that UNM holds.
Coming out of the pandemic, both incoming freshmen and returning students can look forward to something they’ve been direly missing in the last year: a physical sense of community. UNM is finally bringing back the pack.
Megan Gleason is the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com