With most universities delivering their courses through online means in the first semester, post-secondary students are making decisions as to whether they will go back to living on campus, rent a house with their friends or stay at home until they go back to in-person classes.
Jaykob Ryll is going into his second year of studying English at Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia. He said the decision of whether to stay in Fort Frances or go back to campus was made for him.
“I’m going back to campus because the football team has called us back,” Ryll said. “I’m living on residence this year. Nova Scotia has some really good precautions and procedures. There are also other rules on campus that we have to adhere to, such as mandatory mask wearing, sanitization stations around campus that we have to use before we enter certain parts of the university.”
Ryll said although he is just going down for sports, he believes this provides an interesting new challenge on what university already offers.
“It is a lot more self-driven at this point. I think it is a learning experience as to what potentially could be the future... more online classes being present to combat a virus like this.”
Saint Mary’s University is one of few post-secondary institution in Nova Scotia to be adopting an online teaching system for the fall semester. However, Ryll said the university provided a lot of different resources such as getting hold of tutors and professors.
Ryll also said he is blessed to gave a coaching staff who do a lot to make sure that school is number one, family is number two and football is number three.
“When we go back, we got mandatory study hall three times a week for two hours and our schedule is packed,” Ryll said. “I’m fairly confident that even with COVID, just being on campus will help me focus and put my best effort in these classes that I won’t be able to do at home.”
Ryll is not the only student who decided to go back. Lauren Hamilton is a fourth year commerce student at the University of Ottawa. Although Hamilton said she is going back for her co-op placement, she will also be taking one course during the fall.
Hamilton said the concept of online classes is not new to her because she took summer online classes. The key is staying organized, Hamilton added.
“It wasn’t that hard but you definitely miss making those connections in class, especially as a business student,” Hamilton said. “A great part of class is getting to meet all different types of people and making connections and making friends, that’s the only hard part because you can’t have all cameras on or talk over chat on zoom. You miss out on meeting new people.”
Although Hamilton said besides not being able to make connections and meet new friends with online classes, she firmly believes all universities should consider lowering their tuition because students are no longer using physical resources.
“I think our tuition got raised up a bit if not stayed the same,” Hamilton said. “I think that is really unfair because we are paying for the amenities the buildings provide and also getting to meet our professors face-to-face. I don’t think it is fair that we still have to pay the same large amount when we are not getting that same education that we used to.”
As for Ryll, he said he excited to go back and put everything he has into football and schooling without having to worry about the campus buzz.
Merna Emara, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times