Spring semester goes virtual

The University of Alabama joins a growing rank of schools who have transitioned to online-only classes during the COVID-19 outbreak.

By Libbi Farrow
News Producer

The University of Alabama switched to all virtual learning on March 30, 2020, and it has students weighing the pros and cons of the move.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rise, more people are staying home and realizing what this truly means for the state, nation, and world. 

As of April 1, there were 911,308 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the world, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins. The pandemic means universities and schools worldwide are shutting down their in-person classes and transitioning to online settings.

Alivia Beck, a senior at the University of Alabama, says the transition has been OK.

“I’ve appreciated the efforts my professors have made to make it easy and accessible,” Beck said. “It’s obviously not the same because we don’t get the face-to-face interaction, but given the situation, it really has been the next best thing. I haven’t encountered any technical problems so far and it’s been nice to see my peers and professors.”

The CDC recommends avoiding close contact with people who are sick, avoiding touching your face, keeping a six-foot distance from others, washing your hands and disinfecting surfaces frequently.

According to the CDC, people may be sick with the virus for 1 to 14 days before developing symptoms. The most common symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. More rarely, the disease can be serious and even fatal. Older people and people with other medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), may be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill.

Julia Westerman, a senior at UA, says the motivation to finish the semester is really hard to find. 

“I’m lucky in that none of my classes are having us Zoom in at our old class times, but it’s been kind of hard getting the hang of everything being online,” Westerman said. “Even though I am bored constantly it’s still difficult to find the motivation to do my work and get it done in a timely manner.”

Although this isn’t ideal for most students, many are making the most of it. It is very bittersweet for those students “graduating” in May as there will be no real ceremony. 

Carly D’Alto, a UA senior, says this has truly impacted her last semester of college. 

“Graduating college is a huge deal, and although it seems silly, walking across a stage and getting a diploma is what solidifies you being a college graduate,” D’Alto said. “It is an actual real moment that you have worked towards for four years. So even though I will still be graduating, having that moment taken away is extremely sad.”