‘A great start as we transition to a better normal’
18 Apr 2022
Starting a new semester always brings mixed emotions: excitement, joy, fear, and anxiety. But returning to school after a COVID-19 lockdown, isolation, and quarantine have brought new feelings and worries. In the Loyola Schools, limited face-to-face classes (F2F) were implemented in the second semester of SY 2021-2022.
These Loyola Schools seniors share how they feel about going back to campus for their F2F classes.
Maria Ana Enza V Quimson
4 BS Chemistry
F2F classes: CHEM 172.42 and CHEM 162.42
Given my previous experiences with lab-at-home, I wanted to be able to ask questions more straightforwardly while I was doing the experiments. One of the struggles with lab-at-home is that experiments can take longer than the allotted 4 hour class times with no supervision. Experiments were doable for around 4-5 hours with an onsite lab, and materials were more accessible. The lab environment on campus can’t be replicated at home, so I opted for onsite labs to get quality data for my lab reports.
It was really nostalgic going back to campus. It’s definitely not the same, but the serenity and quietness of campus now remind me of my 7 am walks along SecWalk, and I always found comfort in those. In some ways, it’s still home. My first day back was pretty hectic. I left the house an hour before the class started, expecting traffic, but it was actually not bad. I also didn’t have to look for parking because there were no other cars, which was a plus. The heat was definitely something I did not expect, given that I’ve spent the majority of the two years indoors. The lab was pretty hectic, given that we were the first batch to go in. Still, the experiment itself went smoothly, mainly because our professors were there to answer quick questions and gave us tips throughout the experiment.
I missed the environment inside the campus. Though sometimes hot, the breeze is always fresh and clean. The hustle and bustle, yet comforting, was also something I missed.
I’m thankful for the experience of doing onsite experiments, but I think some facilities are underutilized. Access to the labs for the thesis came at a hurried pace, but overall, it’s safe.
Ryan Vincent T Gorospe
4 AB Political Science
F2F classes: SocSc14 and POLSC186.10
While Ateneo has done a great job in transitioning online, I still think that being able to return to campus and meet people during class is essential in the holistic learning experience. Taking classes online has also been cyclical, and a break from this cycle by going onsite is a real breath of fresh air. While most of my classes are indeed able to be taught online for my major, having genuine human interaction adds more value to the things we learn.
As graduating students, we were joking around, saying that we felt like freshies but this time knowing that we only had a few months left. While there may be fewer people walking around, and you could barely recognize people with their masks on, the campus has a certain undeniable beauty that will make you feel at home. It was also very surreal not just seeing squares as my classmates but actually being in one room with them. The instructor’s voice also does not crack up since there’s no element of internet connection involved. I also met many people I only met online, and it was great! After our class, we took pictures while maintaining social distancing, as we felt that we indeed had come home.
I believe that the limited flex classes, especially now that it is optional, are a great start as we transition to a better normal. We may look at it not only within the framework of our education, being able to adapt to the improving situation and looking at it within the framework of our happiness and our mental health. The past two years have limited us to having interactions via the screens in our homes; now that F2F is an option, I’m sure those who can go F2F will grab this opportunity, especially since things are getting better.