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Students share their thoughts on an unusual end to the semester

Department of Sociology studentsThe normalcy of Iowa State’s spring semester ended abruptly in mid-March when the university suspended in-person classes due to the coronavirus pandemic. The transition to online-only instruction for the remainder of the semester was challenging for all, especially students.

Three Department of Sociology majors— Aura Garcia (freshman, sociology), Cody McClarnon (junior, criminal justice) and Ashley Tibbs (freshman, agriculture and society)—share, in their own words, the struggles and triumphs they experienced as spring semester 2020 concluded.

Where did you move to following the closures on campus?

Garcia: I’m currently living back home with my parents in Des Moines, Iowa.

McClarnon: I’m living in an off-campus apartment in Ames.

Tibbs: I moved back home to Waukee, Iowa.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when Iowa State moved to online-only classes?

Garcia: I am a social person who learns best with hands-on activities, so it’s been hard to motivate myself to do school work. I find a lot of online work to be busy work, and I don’t like being stuck at my desk for hours doing homework or listening to lectures.

McClarnon: The biggest challenge I faced when ISU moved to online classes was keeping my schedule of studying consistent.

Tibbs: The biggest challenge for me was moving back home. I’d had a single room before and now I share a room with my younger sister—it’s been a struggle. I was lucky enough to have taken a lot of online classes before all others moved online, so that wasn’t a big transition for me.

What do you miss most about being on campus?

Garcia: One of the things I miss about being on campus is walking to class on a really nice day and hammocking after class.

McClarnon: I miss the social interactions with other students and the face-to-face interactions with my professors. My professors are experts in their fields, and I hate missing out on picking their brains.

Tibbs: I love the general atmosphere of being on campus. Everything is super close, like the library and the gym, and the campus is beautiful!

What are looking forward to the most about returning to campus in the fall?

Garcia: I’m really looking forward to eating at Convos (Conversations Dining Hall) with my friends and doing homework at the library together.

McClarnon: I’m looking forward to socializing on campus and making sure all my assignments are done by Friday night so my weekends are free for shenanigans.

Tibbs: I am definitely looking forward to having access to the library again! I love Parks Library and it’s such a good place to study.