First Day Back in School

Senior, John Harris sits Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020 on a bench in the Quad on LSU's campus.

COVID-19 restrictions kept many LSU seniors from experiencing their last football game or night out with friends as a college student. Between asynchronous and 100% virtual classes, even something as simple as a walk through the Quad has become rare. 

Mass communication senior Ty Meshell said COVID-19 has drastically impacted campus life. 

“LSU is always filled with people walking to their classes or hanging out or studying,” Meshell said. “Now, I have no reason to even walk on campus. When I do, it is almost completely empty. The complete shift of a bustling campus full of life to a bleak array of nothingness is difficult.”

For Meshell, experiences such as these make getting through the final year that much more difficult.

“Socially, I find myself alone a lot more often,” Meshell said. “It is undoubtedly harder to remain focused and motivated because of how different this year has been.”

Mass communication senior Caroline Rhodes said asynchronous classes were a significant hurdle this year. 

“Asynchronous classes have been the hardest for me because they’re not a planned time," Rhodes said. "It's much more time consuming and harder for me in general than a regular class. You have to actually plan out your day, not just ‘oh, I'm going to class right now.’”

For chemical engineering senior Jacob Danklefsen, the combination of asynchronous classes and ADHD makes time management difficult. 

“As a student with ADHD, paying attention has always been a problem for me,” Dankelfsen said. “As you can imagine, being at home with roommates and other distractions has done little to help.”

Aside from the academic issues, seniors also dealt with a loss of social life and organizations.

“I think it is the drastic change in campus atmosphere and non-academic events that truly affect the seniors most,” Dankelfson said. “Many of us are heavily involved in student organizations, and we have been stripped of our last year of that.”

Rhodes, however, said she came to peace with the large loss of social interaction last spring during her junior year.

“In March I did feel like I was [missing out] but now I'm over it,” Rhodes said. “I do miss it but at the same time I realize the real world is starting for me.”

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