UWF students reflect on the start of the spring semester


Abby Hall, Staff Writer

After an extra-long winter break, UWF students have returned to class to finish out the 2020-2021 school year.

There are a lot more in-person options for classes this semester, giving students an opportunity to physically be back on campus after staying home for the majority of the past year.

However, many in-person courses are considered hybrid, meaning that they are in-person, online and are subject to change to fully online for given circumstances. In-person options also vary depending on your major and year.

While our current situation isn’t completely normal or considered anyone’s preference, many students are feeling more confident in this semester in comparison to the last two during the peak of the pandemic.

“This semester is going to bring on a new set of challenges just like last semester,” Junior Sawyer Lang said. “However, this year has started off with some excellent class sessions and I’ve felt pretty safe and comfortable returning to campus, despite the climate of this pandemic. Not to mention that it feels so nice to walk across campus again. I almost forgot how beautiful it is.” 

One of the biggest challenges that students faced last semester was lacking motivation because they didn’t have a regular structure. 

Having every class online while everything else in the world was cancelled left students forced to make their own routine and foundation in the middle of a global pandemic, but things are slowly resuming and UWF is taking small steps to get back to normal.

“It is really nice to be able to have half of my classes in person again,” UWF Freshman said. “I feel way more productive on the days that I am on campus and it has made balancing schoolwork easier than last semester. I’m still ready for everything to go back to normal though and I really miss sports and events.”

After going the entire fall semester without a football game or tailgate, softball and baseball were permitted for the spring, but attendance is limited to immediate family members of athletes and coaches.

Many students are crossing their fingers for sports and public events to fully return in the fall because they are a large aspect of college culture and their absence is a huge reason why students are feeling more isolated.

We won’t know for sure what the fall will look like until we get closer, but UWF football delayed its schedule until 2021 for further evaluation.

While a lot of students are feeling slightly more grounded in this semester, it still does not erase the fact that we are still dealing with a pandemic and not everyone is able to have classes in-person.

When we all received our acceptance letters and committed to UWF, we were expecting all of our classes to be in person for all four years of school, just like it has always been. 

No one could have ever predicted what was going to happen but doing any amount of college online was not the plan for a majority of the students and it has affected the way that some learn and operate.

“It feels pretty similar to last semester because all of my classes are online except one,” a UWF Senior said. “I am already starting to feel disorganized and confused with due dates and assignments. I’m just thankful that this is my last semester in college because I don’t think that I could do this again.”

Some students are pushing through to finish college, some are taking a break until it goes back to normal, and some have even deferred.

We are all still in an abnormal situation that is bringing about similar challenges that we have dealt with in the past few semesters, but professors and students are getting more comfortable with the online format.

“This semester hasn’t been too bad,” a UWF Junior said. “I think most of the professors are a little more organized now with everything being online for almost a year now. All of my classes are online again and even though I learn better in the classroom, the professors have really been trying to make it as simple for us as possible to learn online which is nice.”

Regardless, UWF and the rest of the country are taking steps to help slowly and carefully bring everyone back into a safe routine. 

While challenges are still present, we are all collectively adapting to our current situation and starting to feel a little more on track in all areas of our lives.