With Drake classes moving to remote learning for the rest of the semester, many students are finding it hard to readjust to leaving campus and changing their lifestyle. Annabel Norman-Webb, a freshman majoring in Psychology, is one of those students.
“The most difficult part is living with my parents again and having the motivation to do school work when everything is online and so impersonal,” Norman-Webb said.
With many people social distancing right now, it can be hard to stay connected, whether that be with friends, family or university. Drake University’s Journalism and Mass Communications school has been attempting to combat this by staying active via the SJMC social media.
“My goal for the Drake social media is to continue to show students that their faculty and staff are here for them in any way we can – just not in person at the moment,” Chris Snider said.
Snider is an associate professor at the Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
If you look on the current Drake SJMC Instagram you’ll see a string of “SJMC Sessions.” These sessions are designed for seniors of the J-school to be celebrated because their final semester was cut short.
“I’m also trying to give our seniors a little bit of the sendoff they deserve by giving them all a moment in the spotlight,” Snider said.
Social media offers an easy way for current students and faculty to remain connected with alumni. This also allows alumni to see what is going on with the Drake community, even if we aren’t there in person.
“I do think there’s been a lot of engagement from students,” Snider said. “We usually mostly get engagement from alumni, but I’ve noticed current students sharing the posts. That’s great to see.”
There are a lot of other ways for people to stay connected along with staying active on social media. Zoom has been commonplace for many students, but Facetime and other messaging apps have played an important role too. Yet, even if we cannot see one another in person people can still go above and beyond to show people they care.
“Facetime or Snapchat tend to be most people’s go-to but try to find other creative ways to converse with people like sticky notes, letters, small gift baskets, their favorite food from amazon, or something small that will mean a lot to people,” Norman-Webb said.
Despite the ease of social media, some students and faculty are still having a difficult time working from home and staying focused. Snider stresses the importance of reaching out to professors because they are aware of the difficult change that has happened to students.
“Taking our classes online in the middle of the semester is a pain,” Snider said. “But it’s even worse for students. We’re just back in the place where we spend most of our time already. Your entire lives were uprooted. So talk to your professors about your situation so they understand. And don’t be afraid to use the pass/fail option on classes.”