Students spill the tea on how they feel about yet another digital semester

Martin Garcia

Public relations

“I’m not happy about it at all. I know most students in all five of my classes are not happy either. Learning remote is very difficult—for one, there are too many distractions at home and Zoom is not always reliable. The internet can be very spotty for professors which makes the lesson very difficult to comprehend. The goal was to flatten the curve of the virus, which I believe the state has accomplished, I believe students should be given the option to go to class and learn if they are ready to go back, and for the students who still don’t feel safe, which is completely understandable, the school should broadcast the classroom lessons live where the students could access the class from home. It’s a win win. Obviously masks and other precautionary measures still have to be taken, but I know many students are eager to get back into the classrooms and learn in person.”

Victoria Sanchez


“For me personally it’s been hard because I am a transfer student. This is my first semester at CSULB, and the workload is much more than community college, which IS expected. The thing is, I’m a hands on learner, I need to be in an environment that stimulates me. Sitting & looking at a screen for eight-plus hours a day whether it be for classes or school work, drains me completely. It’s also hard for me to pay attention for long periods of time and being at home doesn’t help. I used to spend day and night at the library in the absolute silence I needed to do work, but now I’m at home where it’s consistently loud and I can’t be left alone.
Although I understand the reasoning for going virtual again next semester and I think it’s important, it’s still very frustrating. Luckily all my classes have group chats whether it’s on Discord, Instagram or texting.

Everyone by far has agreed or complained about the insane workload assigned per class and expected to be done by the next class. I know that yes, we are at home and we may not go out, depending on the person, but they’re not being considerate that it’s not the only class we are taking. Some of us are essential workers, and our environment or situation at home may not be peaceful and one we can work in efficiently. I have made the decision with the support of my family to take next semester off because I cannot do online school. It is overwhelming and has caused a lot of anxiety and stress, and we’re not even a month into the semester. It’s a bit comforting knowing I’m not the only one that feels this way, but it still sucks because college is already stressful in itself, but now virtually? My classmates have been nice knowing I’m a transfer student & have given me advice but they’re just as stressed and overwhelmed as me. All in all, it’s a lose-lose situation for both the school & students.”

Marissa Guzman

communications studies

“My main concern is Zoom. Way too many folks in my classes don’t understand Zoom features. As rough as it is, I think it should have been mandatory for everyone to sit through a tutorial on how to use everything on the app. It really holds up class time with the amount of students yelling out and cutting off professors because they don’t check the chat, know how to use the ‘raise hand’ option, complete polls, etc.

I even tried reaching out to one specific classmate because she constantly unmutes herself to chime in mid-lecture, but she never saw my chat. Inevitably, I’ll be reaching out to my professors about it, but I’m annoyed that I even have to.

Aside from that, I don’t live in the greatest neighborhood. Sitting through another long semester of hearing all of my neighborhood playing music, M-80’s going off every day, people fighting outside and next door, etc. is not exactly making spring something to look forward to.

This is my first semester as a transfer at CSULB, and at this point I feel like school is something I need to get over with, when initially I was excited for the experience. I’m just not looking forward to another very expensive semester of sitting in my room watching a screen. It’s frustrating.”

Ryan Mardon

history major

“While online classes can be easier for students like me who don’t like getting up early in the morning, as we can just roll out of bed and join a Zoom call, I do really miss the social interaction that comes with attending classes in person. From the random little  conversations before and after class to getting to meet your professor face to face. I also find it harder to stay focused and manage my time while online. I feel like when you are in class you are somewhat forced to focus and take notes, but in a Zoom call you can easily be distracted by the many things around you, like your phone. The feeling of actually walking to class and seeing everyone on campus,especially friends,  is something I think is very core to college life. Attending class online definitely made me lose this connection of being “in class” while I’m really just sitting at my desk in my room.

Lastly I really miss hanging out with my friends on campus, especially since I lived and worked with them at university housing the past two years and made so many good memories. While I understand the need for distance learning, it really does ruin the college experience. I’m also a little upset that they made this decision to go online next semester so early,as we all know things change quickly, but I do know that it helps professors be more prepared. Ultimately I will still try to make the best out of online classes. I guess the Z in Gen Z now stands for Zoom..and we are Zoomers!”

Laura Hardin

general biology major

“I’m a transfer student, so this is my first semester at CSULB. Being in a new school, virtually, has been a huge obstacle—new professors, new campus policies, new online formats. I’m a general biology major and a big part of my education comes from hands-on learning, like dissections and microscopy. I rearranged my anticipated schedule for Fall 2020 so that I could push back more of my important classes to when we return to in-person teaching. Now, I’m not really sure what to do for the spring semester, and I feel like I’m losing out on a quality education. I understand that the pandemic needs to be taken seriously and CSUs are trying to be extra precautious. However, we have been without in-person classes since March. I drive down Broadway on my way home from work and see nothing but masses of people on Pine Ave., without masks, in close proximity, eating out at restaurants. People are tired of being cooped up and isolated and they are already taking to the streets and acting as if the pandemic is over. Why do we at CSULB still need to social distance when the majority of SoCal is already returning to their pre-COVID ways?If I could ask for a compromise from the CSU system, I’d ask that classes with lab components go back to in-person teaching, while keeping the lecture courses online. At least that way the campus population is reduced but people like me still receive the hands-on training required for their major.”

One Comment

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    It’s frustrating that Spring is going to be online. I’d wear a face mask, face shield, and gloves at all times just to be able to take my classes in-person. It’s not easy being a film student and doing everything remotely.

    There’s so much film students are missing out on by not getting hands on experience with film equipment. I believe that students will be more behind than ahead in all areas of study that require hands-on work, when we return to campus. Resulting in a delayed graduation for some people.

    As a kinesthetic learner, I’m worried that the distractions at home and in my neighborhood will result in my GPA being much lower this semester compared to previous semesters. It’s still going to cost a great deal of money and film students aren’t going to have the crucial experience of being on a film.

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