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Life After Pandemic Beginning to Impact Students

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. (mocsnews.com)- As the COVID-19 pandemic here in the U.S. seems to get better since the administration of the first vaccine in December 2020, students around the nation are allowing more students on campuses for classes and events. The adjustment to online classes was difficult for many, but how are local students responding to the adjustment of returning. 

When the Pandemic initially struck the nation in the spring of 2020, students were forced to stay home and switch to online classes due to the spread of the virus that led to quarantine and social distancing.  

Even though staying home seems like it’d be all fun and games, the sudden change to all online courses made a major impact on students as their stress levels increased and their grades decreased. A fall 2020 survey  showed that since the pandemic began 56% of students claim that their stress levels about school were higher than before the pandemic, while another 41% said that their effort towards learning decreased.  

Now that 46% of the nation are fully vaccinated and case numbers are going down life for many is slowly getting better by the day. Schools of all levels are returning to normal in the fall, a Spring announcement UTC (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) made in the fall gave students the official word that a normal campus life would be making a return and the news is giving some mixed feelings. 

Noah Drake, an upcoming senior at the university, stated that although he was excited to return to campus, he is worried the school will soon enforce the vaccine as a ticket back to school before the fall. 

“I’m glad I can finally get my money’s worth of college education now, but I’d rather take my chances with the virus and not the shot,” Drake said. 

Although the nationwide percentage of fully vaccinated people is close to 50% only 35% of Tennesseans have received both doses. Out of everyone in the state who received at least one dose of the vaccine, only 18.98% of residents between the ages of 16-20 have been fully vaccinated, college students typically start around 17-18. 

“I personally feel confident about the vaccine, if more people take it’d just continue to make everything safer and normal again,” said Jennan Moughrabi, also a senior at the university. 

She also shared her plan to take half of her classes online and the other half face-to-face because online learning eventually grew on her. 

Out of everyone excited to return there are some who are a bit conflicted about the return and not just with COVID concerns.  

Torrance Roberts, an incoming sophomore transfer student shared his concerns. 

“Of course I am a bit worried about COVID because I’ve gotta be careful with my son, but I just hope my professors are ready too it’s hard being on point if the professors aren’t.” 

As efforts to promote the vaccine and control the virus continue, the “normal” learning environment/experience on campuses and in the classroom students have longed for since spring 2020 may make its return this fall. 

About Carlos Moore

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