Although most of us are happy to be back at the Hurst, for some students, returning to campus during a pandemic was simply not an option. What is it like to be experiencing the Hurst experience from home?
For students Lauren Rogus, Evan Medvec and Ben VanHook, the experience of doing this semester remotely has been an interesting one.
Rogus is a senior Education major who is at home in the Pittsburgh area. “I chose to stay home this semester due to some health issues. I am currently seeing doctors and I would have to leave campus multiple times through the semester,” Rogus said.
“Academically it has been an adjustment to keep up a good schedule when not in classes, but socially I am trying to FaceTime friends and text people. I feel that social media has actually helped me stay in contact and updated on what my friends are up to,” said Rogus. “I feel the experience has been great so far because I am enjoying my more comfortable clothes as I go to virtual classes and enjoy seating comfortably at home rather than in a classroom.”
Medvec is a sophomore Intelligence Studies major who also stayed home because of medical reasons.
“Being compromised, I thought this was the best course of action for myself and my family. I feel that Mercyhurst has tried their best to take precautions to make everyone feel somewhat safe on campus. Academics and social interaction have been harder during this remote semester. I miss being in the classroom and feeling the rigor that only a classroom can offer,” Medvec said.
Medvec also misses the interaction of a classroom, which includes body language and being able to see all classmates at once.
“I feel as if the organic interaction is a little harder, but I am so thankful for my friends and their ability to keep me involved even if I am off campus,” Medvec said.
Ben VanHook, a senior Political Science and Psychology major, concurs.
“The biggest barrier aside from the technological issues that sometimes occur is not interrupt-ing people over Zoom because you never know when others are going to start talking,” said VanHook.
However, VanHook’s academic experience has been good overall.
“I had a few reasons to stay home. I did not want to get sick and I did not want to get anyone else sick. I also felt I had a moral duty to protect people by staying home and limiting exposure with others,” said VanHook. “It has been fine academically for me. A few of my classes are using an A/B model, and a few are virtual only. I have been able to participate and communicate in class as I normally would.”
One of the biggest questions many people would have for these students is how they are staying involved socially, rather than academically. How are they staying connected to MU?
“I am actually working as the KDP president remotely for this semester. I am organizing meetings on Teams and Zoom, continuing my work as an Ambassador Historian and helping to organize and lead Carpe Diem 16 by going to virtual meetings,” said Rogus.
Medvec is continuing to interact with RSCOs and follow Mercyhurst social media.
“It’s been difficult not being with people, but I have tried to form study groups, attend club meetings and interact with people as much as I can. I may submit a poem to LUMEN to review. Finding social things to do can be difficult though,” said VanHook.
All three are hopeful about their return to the Hurst.
“I definitely think Mercyhurst has done better than many schools in their reopening projects. Despite recently having a few cases, they have been able to isolate those individuals successfully,” VanHook said.