As we look back on a school year that will certainly go down in history, we can see the negative effects that hybrid or online learning has had on students academically and socially.
With a considerable amount of classes being either online or hybrid this year and most social events being canceled or modified to fit CDC guidelines, this year didn’t feel like the ACU experience at all.
For underclassmen who have to live on campus, most of the year has been spent isolated in their dorms. Due to a shortage of social events and fewer in-person classes than normal, there have been few opportunities for freshman to socialize and really get a feel for what ACU is supposed to be like.
Two of the biggest events that freshman can participate in, Freshman Follies and Sing Song, required small acts and audiences which took away from the community that it was supposed to be encouraging. Sophomores who pledged this year experienced the least social and personal rushing season that club members have ever experienced.
With these changes to ACU’s biggest social events, many students chose to leave on the weekends to go home to their families rather than stay in their dorms all weekend, citing isolation and loneliness.
ACU prides itself on its sense of community, but with abnormal pledging, lack of big Moody chapels, lack of big hall events and required masks and social distancing, students were feeling disconnected from their peers this school year. Even as we finish out the school year, graduation parties and the ceremony itself won’t be like any others in years past.
Administration’s announcement that next year’s classes and social events are expected to return to normal is like a breath of fresh air. Finally, students will be able to enjoy the things that makes college special. With online and hybrid courses being the normal, it is hard to distinguish ACU from any other school. As everyone leaves for this semester and gets ready for the next, we can all agree that there is hope that we will be able to have the social lives and mental health that we missed this year.