Back to Zoom University (aka UT AUSTIN)

Anna Vallejo

It has been a wild first half of the year. We are still learning how to live amidst COVID-19, but there are still some things that are not being put on hold, like the University of Texas campus operation for back to school.

This time last year, no one predicted that a global pandemic would happen. It is something that came upon us so suddenly that we all have some mixed feelings and thoughts on how we will continue with school.

Though students across the nation have already gotten a taste on how to maneuver their way through remote learning, going back to campus will not feel the same this year. We will not be able to see our friends’ smiles in class and for some of us, we will be cooped up in our bedrooms attending “Zoom University” for the first time.

Some of our favorite parts of returning to school are being in a class again, ready to learn. But getting that excited feeling can be hard to do with some classes being moved to online. And not only can it be frustrating to have a full schedule of classes online, spending multiple hours on end looking at a computer screen can be annoying and harmful to the eyes (we suggest investing in a pair of blue light blocking glasses).

One of the greatest concerns with school starting soon is having to be in close proximity to people that we do not know. Some classes are still being held in person and bus routes will continue. Going from being in quarantine with our families and close friends, it can be scary to now be in an environment with strangers.

But if there are any pros to all of this, it is that some students are able to stay home and save some money for next year. The cost of living in Austin for anyone is pretty pricey. UT students can spend up to more than $12,000 on student apartments and on-campus housing, so who would not love to save some money to buy a new laptop?

Even though living in Austin will be different this year, we are still going to take safety measures to have a good time with our school friends. It is in these difficult moments where spending time with our loved ones is important.

There will be times of uncertainty and frustration, but whatever happens this semester, we will be putting our best efforts into staying safe and healthy, all while trying to make the best of whatever challenges and opportunities that may be presented to us.