Since the semester started, COVID-19 has found its way onto the Shawnee campus, with ten student cases and four employee cases so far. With that being said, every Shawnee student’s experience is different, and this is even more pronounced during a global pandemic.
Dylan Essman is a College Credit Plus (CCP) student -a high-schooler taking college courses- returning for his second-year at Shawnee. When asked how this semester feels different from the ones he’s experienced in the past, he said, “there’s just a different vibe on-campus when you’re only around maybe ten people at most at any given time. Last year, I was dealing with lectures of over fifty people, now I’m in classes smaller than I have in high school.”
Dylan made sure to take as many in-person classes as possible, as that is the environment he feels that he learns best in. He is also primarily taking science courses, so the addition of a face mask is not much of an inconvenience.
As a CCP student, Dylan also has a unique insight into the differences between the precautions being taken by the local public school system as compared to the university.
“They’re both having us wear masks, wash our hands, and stuff like that, but the university is placing a lot more of the responsibility on the students. At high school, we just follow the directions our teachers give us, and they take our temperatures and monitor our health. At Shawnee, that’s the student’s responsibility.”
Some students have barely even had the opportunity to go on-campus, like Braden Altman, a sophomore who was quarantined the first two weeks of the semester due to coming into contact with an infected student. Altman spent two weeks with his normal schedule, and then was forced completely online when Scioto County was moved up to a level red health alert. “It sometimes feels like the semester hasn’t even started, and then I remember all the deadlines I have coming up and I remember that we’re deep in it.” Altman said, in regards to his online schooling experience.
Even though everyone’s situation is different, we can all do our part to eventually reach a sense of normalcy by wearing our masks and complying with the public health measures laid out by government officials. If these measures are followed, Shawnee will hopefully be able to make it through the rest of the semester as safely as possible.