Mood check: How do students feel about on-campus and online learning?

In March, when the pandemic started, many thought it was not going to last this long. Today, Algonquin students at all three campuses are coping with the changes of remote or modified in-person education and learning how to adjust to these unusual times. On Thursday, Sept. 30, Algonquin Times reporters set out to do a […]

In March, when the pandemic started, many thought it was not going to last this long. Today, Algonquin students at all three campuses are coping with the changes of remote or modified in-person education and learning how to adjust to these unusual times.

On Thursday, Sept. 30, Algonquin Times reporters set out to do a mood check of students in the Algonquin community who were on the predominantly empty Woodroffe campus in the lounge and study spaces. Some expressed excitement about being there, but also shared their teeny-tiny flutters of anxiety with us.

Reporters asked: How does it feel to be back on campus? How are you handling the situation? How are you creating friendships and connecting through Zoom?

This is what they had to say.

The oh-so-lucky on-campus students

Filipe Arisancar, electromechanical engineering technician student
Filipe Arisancar, electromechanical engineering technician student Photo credit: Kavya Nair

Name: Filipe Arisancar

Course: Electromechanical engineering technician

Thoughts: “Working alone at home got a bit boring, coming to college for practical labs feels like a break from monotony. While it feels different, there’s a lot of control and a constant battle with masks, the best thing about being in class is that I’m finally getting the practical knowledge that is mandatory for the course. I think the college has adapted well to the situation. I’m liking the less crowded hallways.”

Priya Rani, culinary management student
Priya Rani, culinary management student Photo credit: Zainab Almehdar

Name: Priya Rani

Course: Culinary management

Thoughts: “I’m having mixed feelings lately- I’m both, excited and nervous. Being back means getting to interact with friends and classmates, which is good, but it also means extra precautions. I think twice before sitting on a chair and sanitize my hands immediately after touching anything. I just hope everything gets back to normal soon. I need a break from the constant anxiety and consciousness.”

Dylan Bigelow, heating refrigeration air conditioning technician (HRAC) student
Dylan Bigelow, heating refrigeration air conditioning technician (HRAC) student Photo credit: Dylan Bigelow

Name: Dylan Bigelow

Course: Heating refrigeration air conditioning technician (HRAC)

Thoughts: “I’m happy that my course is back on track with in-person learning – I’m one step closer to graduating and working in my field. There are days when I’m confused about which subject is online and which is offline but I’m trying to make the best of the facility that the college is providing. Sometimes I also feel a bit uncomfortable at school, knowing that there have been some positive COVID-19 cases, but I strictly follow the social-distancing and hygiene parameters.”

Denish Patel, an electro-mechanical engineering student
Denish Patel, an electro-mechanical engineering student

Name: Denish Patel

Course: Electromechanical engineering technician

Thoughts: “Being an international student, who came to Canada at the beginning of a pandemic was depressing. And then, my course got suspended. At first, everything felt like a mistake but with the college reopening, I feel better. The staff is taking good care and things are going smoothly. Attending labs and seeing my classmates are the highlights of my week.”

The ones stuck on Zoom

Tara Thomas, a baking and pastry arts student didn’t mind a little change and not having to commute daily.
Tara Thomas, a baking and pastry arts student didn’t mind a little change and not having to commute daily. Photo credit: Zainab Almehdar

Name: Tara Thomas

Course: Baking and pastry arts

Thoughts: “I’ve gotten used to it since the college closed in March. I’m getting more used to it and getting more comfortable and I’m somewhat liking the change, for now, not to commute every day because I live in Blair.”

Karina McIsaac, a horticultural industries student walks around campus with flowers in her hand.
Karina McIsaac, a horticultural industries student walks around campus with flowers in her hand. Photo credit: Zainab Almehdar

Name: Karina McIsaac

Course: Horticultural industries

Thoughts: “Our professors are choosing to just give us slide shows, and we study it. So, it’s been kind of hard staying in contact with our classmates online just because we haven’t really been using Zoom.”

Taylor Haugh, a horticultural industries student was all smiles as she walked on campus with a bag full of flowers.
Taylor Haugh, a horticultural industries student was all smiles as she walked on campus with a bag full of flowers. Photo credit: Zainab Almehdar

Name: Taylor Haugh

Course: Horticultural industries

Thoughts: “We basically text each other, we aren’t using Zoom as much. We just connect with each other on campus.”

Mario Lumaj, a business administration student found comfort in finding a community he can connect with through clubs.
Mario Lumaj, a business administration student found comfort in finding a community he can connect with through clubs. Photo credit: Zainab Almehdar

Name: Mario Lumaj,

Course: Business administration

Thoughts: “I actually looked on the SA website, and they have a bunch of clubs and stuff. I did notice one, the Algonquin college E-sports club which has a giant community that I really fit in with, that’s where I was vibing with people.”

Shivam Bhandari, shared his woes about the lack of socialization and communication during these unusual times.
Shivam Bhandari, shared his woes about the lack of socialization and communication during these unusual times. Photo credit: Zainab Almehdar

Name: Shivam Bhandari

Course: Manufacturing engineering technician

Thoughts: “Everything is new, we used to come to college and attend the classes, but now we have to like open our laptops and only see the teacher …. there is not that much communication and socialization that used to happen before the COVID.”

Emma Eastlake was able to adjust to this semester by relying on social media to connect to her peers.
Emma Eastlake was able to adjust to this semester by relying on social media to connect to her peers. Photo credit: Zainab Almehdar

Name: Emma Eastlake

Course: Illustration and concept art

Thoughts: “It’s been challenging over the past few weeks, but it’s not been as bad as I thought because of Discord, Facebook and social media keeping us connected.”

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