Now that UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) resumed in-person classes, excitement surrounds the new changes. For many students, the online portion of the winter quarter brought back memories from the start of the pandemic nearly two years ago.
With the transition to in-person instruction comes an influx of varying emotions and reactions. In terms of teaching methods, there seems to be a mixture of either in-person instruction with no online option, or a hybrid of online and in-person instruction. There is no doubt that UCSB students have been through a lot the past few weeks.
The Bottom Line (TBL) reached out to students to ask how they feel about the in-person quarter so far.
“Personally, I think it’s going all right,” said Jazmin Aizpuru, a fourth-year psychological & brain sciences major. “It feels like the same old routine of in-person classes but with more added guidelines. Although I do think it’s a little more hectic this time around just because we went back in person in the middle of the quarter,” Aizpuru said.
Angela Ji, first-year biochemistry major, said she felt great about being in person for classes. “Being in person makes me feel like the quarter has actually started, while the first month of online school felt like a blurry memory where nothing happened,” she said.
Iliana Owens shares a similar attitude to Angela. “The in-person quarter is going rather well, considering the circumstances,” said Owens, who is currently a first-year global studies major.
According to Owens, the transition from online to in-person was a bit startling at first. Now that she has acclimated to the new routine, she believes that students are not meant to be online for school. “An in-person experience is what we paid for, therefore, deserve,” said Owens.
When asked what she missed about in-person classes while being off-campus, Iliana revealed, “I missed meeting new people and the in-person school events for which I do not have to strain my eyes on a Zoom meeting to attend. I missed the experience that we should have had.”
Aizpuru and Ji both said they missed being outside, walking around campus, making friends, and being present in a classroom.
TBL also asked about some of the challenges that students faced whilst being online.
Owens cited many obstacles that she dealt with during the time of remote learning. “These included the physical fatigue caused by being stationed at my desk for many hours of the day, lack of motivation, and the countless hours of screen time spent doing homework and classes,” she said. “The school claimed to be online for the health of the student body; however, they seemingly ignored the unhealthy repercussions that go along with online education.”
Ji discussed the challenges that remote instruction had brought to both students and instructors. “Being online really takes away from my ability to learn as well as instructors’ ability to teach,” she said.
“There are a good amount of students who struggle with focusing online and viewing recorded lecture videos — not to mention the lack of human connection that causes students to feel lonely and depressed, which further drags down their performance in academics,” Ji said. She also spoke about the technical difficulties that come with online classes and how these take time away from class and diminish instructors’ ability to explain class content properly.
For Aizpuru, being online during the quarter was actually a distraction from her studies. “I feel like I wasted a lot of time because the option of watching lectures later was available,” she said. “I could just tell myself ‘I’m gonna watch lectures later’ and then, next thing you know, several hours have passed.”
Many students missed in-person instruction and are now enjoying being able to take their classes in person once again. Hopefully, in the future, there will be more consistency in the different methods of instruction, but for now, students are savoring the feeling of being back on campus as much as possible.