On March 13th of 2020, students across all three campuses of Southern University’s system received an email informing them that their semester was being cut short due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Everyone had one week to evacuate their housing assignments and return home to continue the semester online. The transition from a traditional learning style to a virtual experience was something that was new for everyone and was something all had to adapt to very quickly.
The pandemic has completely altered campus life for Southern University. One student had the chance to voice her side of how things were being a college student and living through a pandemic. The DIGEST had a chance to chat with Natchez Stanton, a 22-year-old cheerleader and nursing student at Southern, who is highly active and involved on campus. When asked about how it was handling changes in school during the pandemic, Stanton says, “When nursing made the switch to online a year ago it was kind of a challenge, but now I’ve learned how to handle online courses.”
Though it might have been easy to adapt to the online style of learning, it may have been a little more difficult to accept the fact that campus life would see a huge change this school year. Due to restrictions and guidelines, most events went virtual. The entire football season was canceled and for the first time ever, students were left without a Homecoming and a Bayou Classic. But thankfully we did get one football game, and the spirit and love for Southern was still the same. As a cheerleader, Stanton says, “I felt like the game atmosphere was pretty similar to what it would be in other years.”
Now after a year into the pandemic, Southern University and other various schools are slowly making the return to campus. However, most students have gotten accustomed to online learning. Stanton says, “When we switch back to in-person it’s going to be very different because I’ve gotten too used to waking up and listening to my lecture.” She continued “At some point, we will see things begin to return to normal causing us to readjust to school pre-covid. While it may be a task to get back on schedule with physically going to class, it is certainly going to happen.”
Being that we are more than a year into the pandemic, many students on campus might have gotten comfortable with waking up and logging on to Microsoft Teams for class. With things slowly beginning to get back on track, campus might start to see some type of normalcy. The pandemic may have put a pause on campus life, but with safety protocols being followed and the use of masks, SU might soon be able to gather in the union for pretty Wednesdays and numerous other events!