COVID 101 at Pandemic U

Seniors reflect on COVID learning

A college education required adjusting to Zoom courses, hybrid classes and online learning as the global pandemic took hold.
Published: May 10, 2023 | Updated: May 12th, 2023 at 10:30 pm

COVID learning image of different SU room settings

When college students think of spring break, we think of a time to refresh and prepare for the end of the semester. But for Syracuse students, March 2020 turned out to be anything but a “normal” end to the semester.

Syracuse had previously announced that students would remain home until March 30 that year, but even this prolonged spring break caused some uncertainty. When we were coming back? Were we coming back?

Then, on March 16, 2020, the university announced that students weren’t returning and classes would remain online for the duration of the semester, countering the March 30 extension. Then, Syracuse dropped another bomb: students needed to return and retrieve their belongings as soon as possible but couldn’t do so after March 30.

“Being sent home so abruptly was really difficult, especially living on the west coast,” special education senior Sofia Gartland said.

Like many of her friends and classmates, Gartland believed they would come back after an extended spring break.

“They told us we either had to be there to pack up our things or hire someone to do that, which for me, was not feasible,” she said

Gartland was extremely frustrated and concerned about not being close to Syracuse to get everything packed up and wound up only having the clothes and items she had brought home for spring break. After much pushback, she said, the university finally agreed to pack her belongings.

Zoom class and COVID-19 were something that no student was prepared for. These seniors remember and reflect on their COVID-19 learning experiences.

Daniella French, entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises/public relations