Mid semester check-in: students reflect on exams, mental health and other topics


Mia Hennen / The Sunflower

Caleb Brown, a senior majoring in Aerospace Engineering, reflects on his classes and progress through school on Oct. 6, 2021.

As students enter into the second half of their fall semester, The Sunflower went to the Rhatigan Student Center to check in with students studying and see how this semester has been going for them and how it has been different than last year.

Caleb Brown, a senior majoring in Aerospace Engineering, said that his courses are starting to feel more normal again and college is starting to feel like it did before COVID-19.  He said that his classes feel easier this semester compared to last year.

“Some of the classes definitely feel better, some of the classes seem easier now because of those last couple of hiccups we’ve had the last couple of semesters,” Brown said. “It seems easier now but I’d probably say it seems more like it used to be before.”

Brown said that all of his classes are in-person, and while there is a hybrid option available if needed, attendance to in-person classes is emphasized to get the full value out of a course.  He said that he feels like professors are getting used to a hybrid format for classes.

“I guess specifically because I am in my later classes, a lot of them still focus on in-person classes but it definitely seems like they’ve figured out any issues they had the last couple of semesters,” Brown said.

Brown said that his classes don’t have midterms and instead all follow the same course schedule of having three exams and a final. 

“WSU definitely goes out of their way to make sure that, especially being a senior, they are trying to set you up for your future and they want to make sure that you are successful right out of college,” Brown said.  “They don’t want you to just stumble out and figure out what you are doing.

“If you don’t have something figured out they give you the opportunity to figure it out before you leave and I think that’s really good that they do that.”

Cynthia Dingman, a junior majoring in Biological Science, said that her courseload feels heavier this semester but enjoys having the in-person option for classes again.  

“I think it’s going better,” Dingman said.  “I like in-person classes a lot more than online, but it’s still stressful, still a struggle.

“I think it helps me keep my attention more to the class, you know online I felt like I was everywhere else not paying attention.”

For other students, they entered college during COVID-19 and are now able to experience college life on campus for the first time.

Cameron Davis, a sophomore majoring in Management Information Systems, went to KU his first year and said that he has been enjoying life as a WSU student.

“It’s pretty different,” Davis said.  “Everything opened up more, there’s more stuff to do on campus obviously.  I’ve been enjoying it so far.”

Davis said that he has midterms in all of his classes, but isn’t stressed because his professors prepared him well.

Toni Bryant, a sophomore majoring in Entrepreneurship, said that the environment on campus feels more lively and she has had an easier time communicating with professors.

“I think it feels so much better being in an environment where everyone’s here,”’ Bryant said. “The RSC used to be so empty and now it’s so full and to see people walking to their classes is amazing, so I think it’s much better than last year.”

Bryant said that she has 3 classes in-person and 3 classes online, and wanted to try in-person classes after doing online all last year.  She has midterms in all of her classes.

“It was intentional for me because I took all online classes my freshman year and I was like, ‘OK, let’s try in person.’  I understand it so much better in person because I can ask my teacher questions and things like that,” Bryant said.

Lorena Garcia, a freshman majoring in Elementary Education, said that some weeks have been overwhelming while others have been more relaxed.

“So far, it’s going pretty well, at first it was very stressful trying to find classes but now it’s more calm,” Garcia said.

Garcia said that she is feeling pretty good this semester, and isn’t sure yet how she feels about online vs in-person classes.

“I’m kind of in the middle,” Garcia said. “I like it because then I understand it a little better and I can ask questions but I also don’t because of the drive.”

Bella Weibert, a freshman majoring in Pre-Nursing, said that all of her classes are in-person and she feels more motivated to do her work.  

“So, I’d say the first week I did not know what I was expecting at all,” Weibert said.  High school’s pretty easy so I was like, ‘Oh, it’s gonna be kind of the same.’  

“Second week in and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this is a lot of work,’ but I think I am finally getting the hang of it.”