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Thursday, December 3, 2020


Freshmen students recap first semester experience

Freshmen have had to adjust their study habits and expectations in response to remote learning. | File photo/The Cougar

The fall semester’s predominantly online format has forced freshman students to adjust their learning styles, study habits and expectations to accommodate COVID-19 changes.

For many, the excitement of starting college was replaced with disappointment when the University announced the continuation of online courses for Fall 2020. With coronavirus cases rising in Houston and the continuation of safety protocols, freshmen have yet to have the traditional college experience.

Civil engineering freshman Chelsea Salviejo was devastated after finding out her initial college experience was going to look different than she had envisioned.

“I felt really sad that I missed out on my first year of college experience, because it was supposed to be a fresh and renewed school life from high school and away from home,” Salviejo said.

In addition to experiencing sadness about having to live at home, Salviejo found that adapting to online classes has been difficult. She finds that she learns better in a face-to-face environment over the video conferencing platforms used for remote learning.

“I’ve had trouble finding motivation in the comfort of my own home because I don’t feel as productive as I would be in person,” Salviejo said. “I personally do not enjoy listening to my professors and getting cut off in the middle of a lecture because of technical difficulties.” 

Altering study habits to accommodate remote learning has been a challenge for some students. Accounting freshman Aizhan Mukhametzhanova adapted her habits to her online courses at home by applying words of wisdom from her professors.

“I put off designated time periods for rest and just myself in general, because it is very easy to either forget all about school or forget all about your mental health as you stay in the same room for months,” Mukhametzhanova said.

“I took the advice of my professors and decided to balance both school and social life, and I made sure to provide myself a distinct working environment with little to no distractions.”

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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