I Felt Connected Even Though I Was the Only One On-Screen.
Saumyaa Gupta’24 plans to major in political science and minor in psychology. Unfortunately, the spread of COVID-19 meant she spent her first semester of college studying remotely from her home in India. While she wished she could be on campus and make new friends without any concerns, she still felt connected with her classmates and friends because of social media and the accommodations her professors made.
Despite being the only student studying remotely in the classes she took, Saumyaa was committed to staying connected with classmates and her professors. “At first, it felt a bit strange because I was the only one on Zoom. But my professors understood my feelings and found a solution that allowed me to see the whole class during lectures.” Saumyaa said. They also extended deadlines when she needed more time to complete assignments.“My professors were really understanding. They always made sure that they took my case into consideration.”
The biggest challenge as a remote freshman was the huge time difference, which required that she change her sleep schedule in order to attend class. While really hard at first, she also cannot believe how quickly the first semester ended.
Saumyaa’s advice for other new students, whether they attend class remotely or in-person: Show up early to interact with classmates and the professor before the class starts. Small classes will help, as it makes it easier to recognize classmates.
While she regrets not being able to experience campus life more fully, she’s grateful that she was treated warmly despite not being on campus. The challenges she faced have also taught her. “Being a Beloiter means adapting to all situations, being flexible, and giving my best, no matter what.” These ideas have helped her to keep working hard and believe in herself. Saumyaa’s final words: “Do not forget to welcome me when I arrive on campus in time for the start of the spring semester.”