Excited to reunite with Aggieland?
Make use of all of the opportunities, resources, and experiences available at Texas A&M as we move back for class!
The time has come — we’re going back on campus and to in-person classes come fall 2021! This will likely bring mixed feelings of excitement and concern. I know I, like many others, enjoyed the convenience of online classes. Waking up five minutes before 8 a.m. and doing class in my pajamas was certainly a perk, but I missed sitting next to classmates, seeing my professors in person and getting to experience campus outside of the classroom. I missed the solid structure of having a good routine. Transitioning back to in-person will certainly bring new obstacles, but this will also be an opportunity for a fresh start!
Returning to normal
For the past year and a half, we have relied mostly on online instruction and resources for everything from learning to test taking. We essentially had to change the way we learned and studied for the online approach, and now we are switching back and even adapting to hybrid classrooms. This may be difficult, but as engineers, we are adaptive and have proven to be able to learn and excel in any learning environment. The change won’t just be a time of trials for us students, but also for our professors and instructional assistants. They will also be trying to settle back into the routine of things going in-person, and we should give them the same grace they extend to us as students. There will be ample outlets for us to get additional help, such as office hours, tutoring and SI sessions. Lastly, with libraries opening up more, we can return to our normal study habits. I know my study habits had to adjust when I was studying at the kitchen table with multiple distractions rather than in a quiet study room at ZACH.
Asking for help
Just as transitioning to online was mentally taxing, returning to campus will likely have an impact on many of us, too. My advice is to reach out to professors and advisors when you are overwhelmed or struggling. Also, Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is a great resource during all the times of uncertainty and modifications. Their website alone has valuable information and resources focused on dealing with social distancing and the change away from social distancing. Beyond the online information, they offer many forms of counseling, and their website is easy to navigate in order to see what best suits your needs.
Making up for lost time
Some students have attended this school for about a year now, but haven’t gotten the chance to experience half of the campus events or traditions that they intended to in their first year due to social distancing. This fall will be a time of firsts for thousands of underclassmen and also a time for upperclassmen to once again enjoy things on campus as they used to. As things around campus come back in full force, we should not take them for granted. We should be thankful to eat in the MSC with friends and meet our professors face to face in office hours. We should try to attend Silver Taps regularly and not dismiss a classmate when we see them walking on campus. We missed out on a year of valued traditions, but now is our opportunity to make up for lost time. And how could I forget to mention… FOOTBALL IS BACK, too!
This semester is going to be full of newness. Whether the changes that we’re facing are liked or disliked, we have the option to be positive and embrace the new normal. Let’s make it a good semester and enjoy our time here!