Semester reactions

This year has been very different due to COVID-19 and Hamline students have something to say about it.


Ali Kimball
The condensed semester and online classes have caused a lot of stress for many students.

Z Martinez, Reporter

Everything has changed drastically since COVID-19 intruded upon student’s lives and Hamline began taking precautions for the fall semester. Now, students share their thoughts over how well they believe this semester went and how they feel next semester could improve.

First-year Adan Moya felt good going into the semester as he expressed his need for a change of scenery. Moya talked about how strange it was at first to become accustomed to wearing a mask around campus all the time and how he didn’t expect classes to be as small as they were due to Hamline’s new safety regulations. 

The campus’ restrictions kept him away from meeting new people and this felt like a blow to Moya’s mental health. He spoke of his love of talking and connecting with people and how that has been made nearly impossible due to COVID-19. Because of this, he felt as if he was placed in a bubble of isolation. 

Even so, he felt as if he grew as a person this semester and this experience has caused him to value his interactions with others. With next semester quickly approaching, Moya felt that although Hamline took the right approach in making classrooms smaller and students being spaced apart when meeting in person, they should consider listening to students more and monitoring students who were supposed to be in quarantine as they could sometimes be found out and about instead of being isolated. He said besides that, Hamline did great in making this a safe and welcoming environment.

“They made me feel at home,” Moya said, “and made this place like a second home to me.”

Junior Nicole-Marie Ferrer, who at the beginning of the semester felt that everything was going well and it almost felt the same as previous semesters since some of her classes were still in person. However, as the semester progressed, she had to change her routine as her classes switched to online. 

This caused some issues as the Wi-Fi was not always reliable and she had to endure being kicked out of class repeatedly. Ferrer admitted that her biggest challenge when classes started going online was with her asynchronous ones. There was no constant reminder of when assignments were due and she would forget about the class. 

She suggested it would be beneficial for asynchronous classes to meet at least once a week for students to stay updated and have that time to interact. Something that she expressed about this semester is that even though it was the shortest, it felt like the longest due to all the changes that occurred this year. 

Ferrer liked how in-person classrooms were organized and agreed that these were planned well to keep students safe, yet she believes that students could have gone online sooner and this would have helped keep the spike of COVID-19 cases from rising..

“Just as much as it is on the school on preventing cases,” Ferrer said. “I do think students could have done a better job also on protecting each other.”

Senior Benjamine Soto addressed feeling intimidated as this year’s fall semester began because of the uncertainty that followed how things ended last year when COVID-19 first began to affect everyone’s education. Soto felt that Hamline’s attempts at trying out hybrid classes was a nice gesture and she was impressed at how it seemed to have been working up until the recent spikes of COVID-19 within the state caused classes to all move online. 

While she admitted that this felt like a rushed semester, she also felt that there is always room for improvement. Soto admitted to feeling less overwhelmed than last year when everything just seemed to change in a snap. She believes that since next semester will be at least partially online, students will be able to give back enough to enhance their own learning experience. She has a lot of hope that the changes will be beneficial to professors, staff and students and that it will be a more balanced semester.

“Even though it’s overwhelming, I’m sure professors will be able to use the feedback they’ve gotten and they’ll make it better for students,” Soto said.

This semester has been full of new experiences for everybody involved and even though we are now moving completely online , students seem to be adapting well and finding ways to succeed despite the constant changes affecting their lives.