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Luquet: Through the eyes of a college student

In the midst of the panic surrounding COVID-19, students all over Louisiana have had to face a transition to online classes and half a semester of college experiences cut short. Unfortunately, lack of foreknowledge and preparation has made this transition bumpy.

I was enjoying my first year of college at Northwestern State University, majoring in communications, when the news broke that my school would be making the move to online learning. The day I planned to go home, my roommate, a theatre major, brought me to attend the first act of our school’s production of Newsies, where the students performed everything they had worked on out of costume for anyone interested in watching.

I moved out of my dorm almost immediately and made the four-hour trip back home to Norco. Panic and confusion surrounded the move-out process, as residents in my hall sent frantic messages in a group chat asking questions such as, “Can I still stay here for the rest of the semester?” and “If I leave campus to go home, can I even come back?”

This pandemic has been scary for everyone. All of the uncertainty surrounding how it presents itself, what it does, and how to prevent it has made it a wild card in terms of who transmits it. We’re all in uncharted waters. That’s ultimately why staying inside is the best option. On top of all of this, students have had to deal with even more uncertainty surrounding the school year.

Since moving out, my professors have been scrambling to find a form of online learning that works for everyone, which has proven to be difficult. The reality is, there isn’t one. All students learn in very different ways. I, for one, find in-person classes to be much better, and this transition has proved to be a major learning curve for me.

Weeks into this widespread panic, and I still don’t know how one or two of my classes is going to be functioning for the rest of the semester. Correspondence with some of my professors is sporadic at best, and there are too many methods they attempt to use to teach us for this late in the semester.

Luckily, on the other hand, the president of my university has the students’ best interests at heart. He knows what students are risking in order to stay safe and healthy, to stop the spread of COVID-19, and the decisions he makes are for the safety and reassurance of everyone. For example, he recently sent out an email updating the grading policy for this semester to be more sympathetic for students struggling with the current situation. Deadlines have been extended, making online learning more accommodating for people who don’t find it very helpful.

I just can’t even imagine what this is like for the seniors, who are missing graduation, and the end of their last college athletic seasons, theatre programs, or music recitals. I am lucky to be a freshman and still have three more years of experience ahead of me.

All in all, everyone is trying to make the best of a horrible situation. There’s nothing constructive about pointing fingers and placing blame when nobody has ever dealt with something like this before. At the end of the day, everyone is learning at the same time how to work together and overcome COVID-19. Through social distancing and trial and error, students like me can do a lot to help flatten the curve and stop the spread of this pandemic so next semester we can return to normal. I think, when all people do their part, teamwork is a beautiful thing.

Lora Leigh Luquet is from Norco. A 2019 graduate of Destrehan High School, she is a freshman at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, majoring in communications and is a member of the Current Sauce newspaper staff. She also enjoys singing in the NSU University Singers and  Concert Choir. She can be reached at lluquet35@gmail.com.