The quiet halls of Mohawk College are filling with life once again as students return to campus after studying online for the past two years.
Zoom lectures became the new normal as Covid-19 restrictions limited in-person interactions. But with the pandemic lockdowns in the past, both students and staff are back in the classrooms, which raises challenges for new students.
“(My biggest struggle) has mostly just been finding my way around campus,” said Jordan Ellis, a first-year student. “It’s been kind of confusing and hard to figure things out.”
While first-year students are experiencing campus for the first time, some returning students are also new to on-campus learning.
“Zoom classes were really helpful time-wise because I could do school from my house without worrying about going anywhere,” said John Vilaca, a returning student. “I like being in class, but I’m finding it hard to plan my day without that luxury of not worrying about getting up and getting to campus.”
Zoom calls allowed for a more flexibility in schedules with the ability to learn from the comfort of home. While time management is one adjustment, getting to and from the college poses another.
“Something simple like transportation has become difficult because you need to be close enough to the college in order to get there and be there on time,” said Kelly Marais. “I had to move to a house closer to the college to make things easier on myself, which was difficult and expensive”.
While students adjust to the change, Mohawk College organizations such as the MSA are working to make the transition as smooth as possible.
“Going from being online to back in person is a little bit challenging … sometimes it’s very hard,” said Paolo Gomez, the director at large for the MSA.
“There are so many questions (from students) but we have a really great team. It’s very easy for us to help them. Every time we have a student who has an issue it’s so nice to help them and make them feel like they have the ability to reach out to us to fix (their) problems,” she continued.
Staff and students alike are working to adjust to on-campus learning and facing the challenges that may come with it.