Students adjust to life back on campus

Students are finally allowed back on campus after a year-and-a-half when much of the learning and teaching has been online due to Covid-19.

But KU students have expressed a mixture of differing thoughts and opinions following the return of face-to-face learning.

Drama and creative writing student, Mary Mungai, said that she has found it challenging being back and she has had to adjust to face-to-face learning again. 

“I found being back at university hectic,” Mungai said. “Travelling to university and sitting in a lecture is something I haven’t done in over a year so the first week back was something I had to adjust to. It was almost like I was a fresher again.”

On the other hand, recent KU graduate Phynia Nyamanzi said that she would not have had any concerns about returning and how she would have loved to return to campus if she could. 

“I would have had no concerns about being back in person because masks and social distancing were sufficient enough to keep people safe,” Nyamanzi said. “I am not currently in university although I would have loved to be. Normality would have been a nice scene to see.”

Returning third-year student Mario Lewis echoed this sentiment as he has found being back at university a positive experience.

“I have found being back very nice as I have been able to see friends and course mates again after over a year,” Lewis said. “It has also been nice to go to in-person classes rather than it all being online.”

Similarly, although the return to campus is proving a big adjustment for Mungai, she said that she is excited to finally be back in person.

Mungai said: “I’m enjoying being able to see my classmates and communicate with my teachers face-to-face because it just makes learning so much easier.”

Looking back on the online experience

For more that a year online learning was a challenge for many, with more young people than ever suffering from poor mental health and increased inactivity.

For Nyamanzi, online learning was a “hellish experience” and she ended up being behind on a lot of her modules. 

“Personally, I like to have a process before learning. Getting up and going into school was something that got me mentally prepared but with the absence of this, I just didn’t go too many lectures,” Nyamanzi said. 

“Additionally I didn’t have an opportunity to go outside so I had a lot of low moods, which added to my low motivation to do anything.”

Likewise, Lewis said that by the third lockdown after Christmas break, his motivation towards university and assignments had gone downhill and the lockdowns put an impact on his mental health.

However, some students enjoyed the online learning experience and Mungai agreed that it allowed her to be more creative with her learning. 

“It was very difficult at first. Being a drama student made the acting side almost impossible,” Mungai said. “However, as time went on and my modules moved to accommodate the online platform, I found that it made each lesson unpredictable.”

“Yes, I was limited but I had to be more creative. I think it also helped that I moved back home and I gained so much support with my university work from my family.”

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