Coronavirus Opinion

Students need to be back in the classroom

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

On March 12, the first anniversary of the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the University declared it will have in-person classes for students in the upcoming fall semester.

UH will have pre-pandemic seating capacities and in-person classes. It will also have options with the hybrid model for those who prefer it. Additionally, the University will continue to offer online classes. It is great that UH is continuing online and hybrid classes for those who need them, but overall, it is time for students to enter back into a classroom. We can’t hide behind our laptops forever. 

University-level classes should be interactive and engaging, so both students and professors have found it difficult to connect in an online setting. These online platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are tiring students out so many students are patiently waiting for the day they can come back to a classroom. 

For students, the chapter in their lives during college is meant to be a crucial time for their development. During this time, students travel to new cities, meet new people and take part in new and exciting opportunities. College should be an environment where they can thrive academically and create friendships that can last a lifetime. 

Students also need to be back in a classroom because they need that student-professor interaction. Many of our professors become our mentors and offer guidance and help when needed. This is hard to do through an online platform with asynchronous classes and emails. 

Students need an in-person experience to get a meaningful connection with their professors. This connection can result in several things like internships and job opportunities. Connecting with a professor can also open up opportunities like studying abroad, taking graduate-level classes and/or seeking help in the coursework or an upcoming assignment. 

Being back on campus will not only help students academically but will help them grow as people again. Students will be on their own, creating their own schedules that cater to them. This independence in college is crucial as many will soon enter the workforce or even graduate school. 

By being back on campus, students will be able to regroup and regain those skills from before the pandemic, which is crucial to adulthood and professionalism.

Being back on campus is more than taking classes, it’s about socializing with peers, existing in an academic environment, being independent, seeking opportunities, channeling the first steps of adulthood and becoming a better version of ourselves. It’s great if others want to stay online, but it’s time to go back.

Saira Haque is an anthropology junior who can be reached at [email protected]

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