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Friday, September 24, 2021

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Incoming freshmen anticipate return of in-person activities


In-person activities return for freshmen students at UH

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

As UH continues its transition back to normalcy next semester, some incoming freshmen are anticipating the return of the University’s in-person activities.

Similar to other students at the University, the incoming freshmen spent a year of schooling online due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

With events presented virtually, many missed out on high school traditions typically experienced in person, such as prom, homecoming and graduation.

Previously plagued with online meetings for events and classes, the students will experience the opposite for their first year at UH.

In their plans for reopening, the University anticipates bringing students on campus at capacity by utilizing pre-coronavirus classroom capacities.

While the goal is full capacity, UH also plans to adjust as more updates about the coronavirus pandemic emerge from health experts and agencies.

Compared to other students, this year’s freshman will experience the return of UH traditions, such as Homecoming and Weeks of Welcome, in person.

Additionally, they will experience the return of face-to-face classes, which nutrition freshman Krystel Nabbout finds helpful to her learning experience.

“I am super happy in-person classes start this year because I find it to have more interaction, fewer distractions, and more focus for a better learning environment,” said Nabbout. “I also believe I will be able to make more connections with people and create better friendships.”

Like Nabbout, freshman Saffiyah Adeyinka shares the sentiment. 

“I’m very excited and nervous about starting my first year at UH,” Adeyinka said. “I’m looking forward to in-person classes because I feel like I have a better chance to know my professors and my classmates more.”

Despite returning to in-person functionalities, UH will also offer some courses in an asynchronous format for freshmen students.

The alternative format to face-to-face classes is available to courses historically offered during a fall semester.

In an asynchronous format, students work at their own pace, keeping in mind to submit their work at the due dates set in stone by the professor. 

While some students will enroll in an asynchronous class, classes offered in the virtual format have shrunk at UH.

Compared to last year, where most classes were online, most students were offered and enrolled in classes encompassing a full or partial virtual format.

The number has experienced a tremendous dip from students enrolled in courses in the face-to-face format.

Although none of her classes are virtual, Nabbout believes the benefits of virtual learning depend on the student.

“I think asynchronous learning can be a major advantage or disadvantage depending on how you learn as a person,” she said. “It is more of a self-taught way of learning … which I somewhat dislike for myself. But it is also good if a person has a tight schedule and enjoys teaching themselves.”

Regardless of how students take their classes, Adeyinka is excited to start her UH experience.

“I’m anticipating getting to meet people and making new friends,” she said. “I’m also anticipating joining clubs and living on campus.”

As for Nabbout, she’s excited to start at UH with her best friends.

“I am so excited to take this big step in my life and continue my education at UH, especially since I am going in with my best friends and have already started meeting new people and making friends,” she said.

“During my freshman year, I am hoping to join many clubs and extracurriculars, meet new people and enjoy the college experience while keeping up with my studies and taking on challenging courses,” Nabbout added.

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