If I had to narrow down the feeling I got when I received the email that my fall semester was no longer going to be taught in-person into one phrase I think I would choose 'disappointed but not surprised'. We all went through it, the weeks of our respective universities sending out these super vague emails that pretty much said 'Don't worry about it we have a plan! But I actually can't tell you what it is, but it's a really good plan!; and if you're like me, naive, you definitely believed them and fully had planned on going back to campus this fall. Sure I didn't expect for everything to go back to normal, obviously precautions were going to be set in place, but I knew for certain I would be sitting back in Scott Hall for another lecture soon. After I went through the five stages of grief: denial, being unable to believe I wasn't going to be back in a classroom any time soon, anger, an anger that I couldn't even pinpoint to a singular source so it was spread everywhere, angry at my university and honestly just angry at the idea of COVID all together, bargaining, 'well what if we all wore masks all the time', depression, thinking about how one of my final semesters in college would be spent home, rather than at school, and of course, acceptance, where I am now, thinking is the fact my fall semester is online really such a bad thing?
Obviously sitting in my bedroom rather than a classroom this upcoming semester is not the ideal way I'd be spending the fall of my junior year, but if I had to choose between starting and finishing a course fully through online, rather than be sent home like we were last semester, I think I would definitely choose the first. If your university is like mine and your in person classes were switched to online midway through your semester, right when you started final exam review and wrapping up the most important aspects of the course, you know the amount of confusion and missed deadlines that follows a switch up like that. There's something calming about knowing that no matter what happens with the virus this upcoming fall my classes will still go on as schedule, no skipping material, no switching from in person to online midway through, no readjustment period that follows the inevitable switch.
I've spoken to a lot of my peers this summer that are attending different universities, some have decided to follow the online protocol and others are taking their chances with in-person instruction with precautions set in place, and throughout these conversations the same sentence was always said "I just hope I don't fully move in and start classes, just for them to send me back home and put my courses online". That's when I realize that maybe being set online for the fall isn't as bad as not knowing if I'm going back to school just to be sent home again. If I had been presented with the two options of going back to in person instruction in the fall, not knowing if I would be asked to leave campus again, and being told my classes will be set online for the fall, I think now I would choose the latter.