The Online Decline, is 3rd Time’s the Charm?

How Students Feel About Their 3rd Semester Online at FPU

It has been almost a year since FPU last held in-person classes. At first, students and staff alike had no idea how long the pandemic would keep them away from one another, but as time continued, it began to look less and less likely that we would return to our normal lives anytime soon. FPU, along with many other schools across the U.S., has entered its third semester of mostly-online classes this spring. Although the experience hasn’t been what many thought they’d be getting at the start of these online courses, it is the only safe way to learn in the current situation. 

When FPU first made its switch to virtual learning, many people were troubled. Being home, of course, was a relief, but we still had to be students and the teachers still had to teach. Faculty, staff and students alike all did their best to push on and finish the spring semester of 2020 and, technical difficulties and all, we succeeded. When it was announced that the fall semester of 2020 would suffer the same fate, it felt surreal. Another year away from campus and a start many freshmen wish they hadn’t left a somber mood over the FPU community. However, the Sunbirds have yet again powered through and finished another semester online. Now it is the spring of a new year, and a third semester is underway in this virtual environment. Given that this is the third time around, are students finally used to it? Or are they eager to get back to campus?

The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has put a tricky obstacle in the way of many students’ learning. Most have become so accustomed to in-person classes that the switch to virtual learning greatly hindered them. Less person-to-person communication and more black screens on zoom is not the way school naturally flows. For many freshmen, it’s their very first introduction to the college scene. So how do these students feel about yet another semester’s worth of virtual distance learning? For a better grasp on their feelings in this matter, The Syrinx interviewed a couple of FPU students and asked for their opinions. 

What were your thoughts when FPU first made its transition to online learning? What are your thoughts now that FPU is in its third semester online? What is getting you through it?

Roberto Lopez (Kinesiology) 3rd Year: “When it started, it felt chill and I didn’t think much of it. Definitely felt good to be home for the first couple of months, and then it just started being a drag. Like now I’m just over it and tired of the online school. What’s affecting me is missing out on the social aspect of college. Honestly, sports and knowing I have to get through college is what is getting me through it all”. 

Jared Aguilar (Business Management), 3rd Year: “I’m not a big fan of online classes because it’s hard to stay paying attention to every lecture, but most of the teachers do a good job of doing their best to help their students keep up and get the most out of the classes. Now I just find it hard to log into class day after day online because it gets harder to pay attention to each class week after week. The only thing getting me through it is the want to succeed in my third year.”

Madison Flores (Liberal Studies), 3rd Year: “I was bummed out when we initially had to switch to online learning because I personally like getting to be in a classroom and be around people. It’s also a little bit easier for me to get distracted with online learning. I’ve pretty much adjusted to it now by the third semester, so I was okay with it. It’s much easier now that professors and students are getting more advanced in terms of learning how to teach and learn through Zoom. What’s getting me through it is making sure to stay organized and in communication with my professors and peers to stay on top of my work. Also, knowing that we’re going to at least have a track season makes everything else worthwhile. Relying on God to get me through any tough times, whether it be online learning or anything else, helps me push through every obstacle.”

It has been a trying time for everyone in the Fresno Pacific community. Although distance learning isn’t ideal, we appreciate the faculty and staff for allowing us to receive an education during such difficult times in lieu of being in person. Many students are eager to return to campus, and it is easy to see why. Until that day comes, we are hoping this 3rd semester is the final chapter of our online world. 

Author: Julian Alcaraz | Features Editor

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