ORIENTED TO CLASS: Despite COVID, some NSU students glad to be back on campus

Logan Curtis | Daily Press

Evan Michael, NSU junior, pays his way into the Market Cafe, one of the staple places to eat on campus. The Market Cafe is a favorite of Michael's after finishing his morning classes.

After what was a very odd semester at Northeastern State University due to CODI-19 restrictions and guidelines, having a break from school was quite the relief for many students.

Christmas and New Year's Day have come and gone, though, and the NSU campus is back open to students. To some, the return to classes also means a return to normalcy.

“Winter break is always so nice,” said Evan Michael, NSU junior. “It’s a great time to relax and spend quality time with my family, but being back at school allows me to get into a routine. It gives me more time to focus on my schoolwork, as well as continue my job and spend time with friends.”

Many things have had to change at NSU over the past semester, and those carried over to this semester, too. Masks are still required indoors and in crowded outdoor areas, and many classes have been transferred to an online format. But there are still plenty of options for face-to-face learning.

“Enrolling for classes went smoothly,” said Michael. “Since I don’t feel like I learn as efficiently online, it was important to me that most of my classes be face-to-face. Luckily, most of the science classes – which is what I am taking – have resumed face-to-face”

For freshmen, last semester may have been their first experience with the college lifestyle and the challenges surrounding it. These freshmen even had more challenges with the different regulations, along with many aspects of campus life being unavailable due to COVID-19 guidelines.

There have been steps to allow more events to take place on campus lately, so many freshmen may be able to start experiencing college like they typically would have.

“I think school went well last semester and that they handled the pandemic well,” said Grayson Hudson, NSU freshman. “I think the school is doing what they should be doing coming back this semester and are doing the right thing by letting more organizations do things on campus.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, for some students, this will be their last time experiencing college before they graduate. While they will have much to look back on, there is no denying that having to graduate during the COVID-19 pandemic will change some things for them.

“There are so many things to reminisce on my college experience at Northeastern State,” said Justin Stephens, NSU senior. “One of my favorite things include my fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha. It has given me so many opportunities and connections that will last a lifetime. I’m expecting to complete this semester with my bachelor's in psychology. I don’t expect things to be back to normal due to COVID-19, but I do still believe I will make the most of my last semester at NSU.”

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