This semester has been one that is undeniably different. From the removal of the mask mandate compared to last fall, to the attempt at making Drake Balanced a thing, there is a lot going on in the lives of those here at Drake.
However, getting to see students succeed and seeing them is a good change back to normal in an unusual world.
However, getting to see students succeed within their classes and without masks is good, especially with some normalcy within an unusual world.
“This is my first time back in the classroom since fall 2020, so to say things look different is an understatement,” Drake adjunct instructor Lindsay Gilbert said. “I love having all of my students back in person and being able to see their faces.”
Students are feeling the stress from the year, especially with the old pressure to be Drake Busy.
“It can be so easy to feed off of others’ ambitions on Drake campus that it seems completely normal to take on so much,” junior Lizzie Murphy said. “I am feeling a level of exhaustion from everything that I haven’t done before. It’s to the point that it feels like I need to share my weekly schedule with friends just to make plans.”
While these stresses can affect students on the daily, many professors are trying their best to help students, in whatever way possible.
“Once you’re a Gilbert student, you’re always a Gilbert student, so I feel as if I have been helping many former and current students navigate life’s stresses for the past 13 years,” Gilbert said. “I teach a reporting and writing class, so students can attend events and interview in person again.”
Despite the Drake Busy schedule, Murphy said that “overall, the semester has been okay for me so far.”
“I had a lot of anxiety going into it with how much I knew would be on my plate, but with a month under my belt, I feel I’ve settled into my schedule,” Murphy said. “There are obviously things that could be improved, but I think my mental health has come a long way and that my stress is at a tolerable level.”
Despite Murphy’s busy schedule, she has been able to succeed and do well in her classes – even enjoying them.
“In terms of classes, I am very happy to be back,” Murphy said. “I definitely appreciate having structure, and this is my favorite lineup of courses I’ve had. I’ve shifted to a point where the majority are project-based, so it’s nice to not have as much homework outside of class so I have more time for my other commitments.”
At the end of the day, professors and other instructors want their students to be able to talk to them and share what is going on in their lives, to an extent.
To students like Murphy, who have a lot on their plate this semester, Gilbert recommends that they use “communication, communication, communication.”
“This may be because I’m a journalism teacher, but I believe many of life’s stresses can often be mitigated through communicating what is happening in your life with your faculty, staff, friends or colleagues,” Gilbert said.