Groundhog Day on Zoom: Not back on campus just yet

Not all students get to return to campus, and the frustration is starting to set.        

Image by: Vilma Andersson

Groundhog Day on Zoom: Not back on campus just yet

By: Charline Wolf

December 16th 2021

Fall semester is almost over and many of us had hoped to return to campus at some point over the last couple of months. While this has come true for some, many are not that lucky, and where hope has been deceived, frustration can begin to set in. 


To clarify one thing up-front: the pandemic is real and should be taken very seriously, especially now that case numbers around Europe are on the rise again. This is not something I want to argue against. What I want to do is make a little room for frustration and unfulfilled hopes.


“There’s a class in that room!”


What a strange exclamation to hear at university. But this is the sentence that made it very clear to me that we are not back to normal, even when I am spending my days at Niagara, meeting people from my course for class. Because we are still listening on Zoom. I still haven’t met most of the people in my class. I have only ever seen one of my teachers passing by the table I was working at. Niagara has become a study spot rather than the building where lectures are being held. So, seeing an actual class sitting in a room used to be a rare occurrence at first.


Over time, in-person classes have become more common. In the beginning of November, there was a noticeable shift: The usual study spots are now harder to get a hold of, and a lot more people are walking around the building on their way to and from lectures or to a break.


And I am jealous.


I don’t like to admit it, because my programme works really well via Zoom, and I don’t want to complain. In fact, I can picture myself after a week of being back on campus, dreading the fact that I have to get up and sit in a physical classroom. But Zoom is exhausting. After all, there is a reason why the term “Zoom fatigue” has been coined.


Many of us have started their programmes either this or last year and have never seen the university from inside, nor met many of their classmates. And others are about to finish their programmes and are all too well aware that they will never return to campus. That they had their final in-person classes almost two years ago without knowing they would be the last.


So, to those lucky people who get to go back to campus: I envy you. 


And to those who are not in this position just yet: I feel with you! Because I guess we all had a glimpse of hope at the beginning of this semester that we would be back to in-person teaching by now. And now, the semester is almost over and gone with it is the hope to end it in normality.


You’ve probably read 100 articles with ideas of how to make the best of the situation, and I don’t want to bother you with another, because you might have figured your strategies out by now, or at least heard them all. If not, this article can provide you with study techniques, and here , we have collected strategies to care for your mental health while working from home. And in case it helps: If you’re stuck on Zoom, at least you won’t have to brave the cold of Swedish winter every morning. For now.

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