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Transitioning to Online School

Life at Tepper Student Experience Blog

When I first heard the news that CMU was transitioning to online classes to prevent the spread of coronavirus, I wasn’t sure what to think. On the one hand, I was surprised and impressed by CMU’s ability to quickly adapt to a novel situation. Transforming every college class into its online counterpart is a monumental task, and the decision couldn’t have been easy for the administration. On the other hand, my mind was filled with questions. Did spring break just get longer? Were classes going to become easier? What would happen to all of the on-campus activities I was a part of?

Over the next few days, more details started to roll in. Teachers sent emails about online class schedules, changes in grading, and other important details people had never considered before. Club sports were cancelled, along with Carnival, Buggy, and Booth. Students were encouraged to return home for the rest of the semester, and as a result, people started leaving campus, headed for their own homes.

It’s tough to imagine what the next few months will look like. I probably won’t get a chance to say goodbye to most of my friends, and I likely won’t see them until the start of school next year. Without Frisbee tournaments or social events to look forward to, I’ll have to find other activities to fill my time. Online classes will be interesting, but from my experience, it’s hard to stay motivated when I can work from my bed. The major benefit from online classes it that I’ll get to spend more time with my family, but I think I’ll definitely miss the freedom and sense of adventure that college life offers.

On the bright side, the school has been supportive throughout the transition process. Most classes have already undergone significant restructuring changes, but to compensate for these changes as well as the impact of online classes, all classes this semester can be converted to pass/fail grading. I hopefully won’t need to use this lifeline, but it definitely takes away stress related to academics.

With my newfound free time, I’ve picked up a couple of new hobbies. I’m relearning the piano to play songs from my favorite shows, and I’m trying to teach myself how to cook. I’m barely able to make scrambled eggs at the moment, so I can definitely put a lot of time into improving my cooking skills. I still have a makeshift bench press sitting in the basement, which I’ll use extensively to stay in shape while staying at home.

I’m still not sure what to think of online classes. It’s something that none of us would have ever predicted, and the change won’t be easy to adjust to. I’m looking forward to returning to campus in the fall, when I can finally show off my (hopefully) improved piano and cooking skills.