The dreaded test result

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Students came back to campus this fall, whether virtually or in-person, ready to feel a sense of normalcy in our anything but ordinary lives, but some did not get that chance. Rather than being there for the first day of class, three IUPUI roommates were all awaiting their dreaded test results back.

Junior Matthew Thornton, a Kelley School of Business student going through I-Core, had difficulty adjusting to the new semester when he discovered that he had contracted COVID-19. 

“I discovered I had COVID the first week of classes, so I was not able to go the first two weeks due to self-isolation,” Thornton said. “Virtual I-Core required me to be on Zoom from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., which was quite exhausting. It was not easy keeping my full attention for multiple hours with all my household distractions. I felt myself falling behind, which is something you do not want in your first few weeks.”

Thornton, who has tested negative twice and returned to his classes, was relieved to be back in person. Since then, his grades continue to go up and feels that he is absorbing the information taught. When asked if he could sum up his entire experience, he had a rather interesting response.  

“This pandemic brought on many hardships but also allowed people to look at themselves and evaluate their lives,” Thornton said. “Just this year, I was able to find out who my true friends were, rekindle an old hobby and started living in the moment and enjoying life for what it is. I do not wish the virus on anyone and was lucky enough to have a mild case of it, but being forced away from others gave me time to look into myself. That is positive I am taking away from the situation.”

Along with Thornton, his two roommates, Blake Germann and Rashan Nisly, were also diagnosed with COVID-19 at the same time. In comparison to Thornton, Germann and Nisly are online this fall semester with zero to a few in-person classes. Both boys had a somewhat different take on their experience and how they felt about the virtual classes. 

Although Germann has a completely virtual fall experience this semester, that does not mean contracting COVID-19 was an easy breeze. Battling a new mode of instruction and personal relationships while being sick was extremely difficult for the college student. 

“By my classes moving completely online, I discovered that I learn better that way, and my grades have only gotten better,” Germann said. “What I had difficulties with was not being able to see many people or meet with my fraternity brothers. Texting is not my strong suit, so I had to make sure I kept up with my communication. It was not the easiest at first, but I learned that it was just something I had to do in our new normal.”

Some students have an experience similar to Germann, where virtual classes seemed to work out better, other students have an experience similar to Nisly. He had the roughest experience with this pandemic out of all three boys. 

“This quarantine and self-isolation process did not treat me well. I had to restructure the way I do classes, which resulted in my grades going downhill, losing my job, and being the sickest among my roommates,” Nisly said. The only positive I could take away was that I had to quarantine with my roommates, so we got to hang out together every day. I was not looking forward to my virtual semester and hoping that next semester will be different.”

Every individual college experience is different, especially during a pandemic. Talk to a student, hear their stories, and learn from their experiences.

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