Michigan State students prepare for the return of in-person classes


Michigan State student Eric Shepard prepares for his online class/ Photo credit: Taylor Truszkowski

Taylor Truszkowski, News reporter

EAST LANSING – The announcement of the return to in-person classes brought mixed emotions for Michigan State Students. As students prepare to return to classrooms on Monday, Jan. 31, they reflect on the pros and cons of online school.


 Many students are happy to go back, while some feel they learn better online. Different learning styles among MSU’s students create a mix of opinions.


Student Lauren Dodgson said, “I think the timing is good, I feel uncomfortable yet in a good way. I think it will be a good thing to get back onto a schedule and be outside more with walking to class.”


Dodgson’s learning style is more suitable for in-person classes. “I think it will affect my learning in a positive way since it will force me to pay more attention in my classes,” she said. 


Dodgson said, “I often get distracted by my phone, my roommate, or doing things like cleaning my room when I’m online. So when I’m in person, I’m a lot more focused on the material.” 


Sophomore Eric Shepard acknowledged the possibility of distraction while taking online classes. He said online classes are, “ a much more relaxed environment which for some classes can alleviate stress, but for others, it can lead to less focus.”


For Shepard, online classes are more compatible with his learning style and schedule which includes a time-consuming dedication to ROTC.


“I enjoyed online classes because I have a busy schedule. It cuts out the commute between classes so I can get a 10 to 20-minute nap in,” said Shepard.


Shepard isn’t the only student with concerns about learning in person. Student Maya Calloway said, “I’m so used to online that I’m worried I forgot how to learn in person.”


Calloway’s personality is more compatible with online classes than in-person classes. She said, “I feel calmer online as opposed to in person, and I get less anxious to participate online. I’ve actually come out of my shell more online compared to in-person.”


Calloway’s learning style is also compatible with the online format. She said, “I like going at my own pace and taking notes on my own time compared to being in person and going at the teacher’s pace. I’ve realized I learn better online.”


In addition to academic concerns, Calloway expressed safety concerns about returning in person.


“The timing of in-person feels kind of quick,” said Calloway. “I’m excited to finally meet some people in class, but I’m still concerned about COVID. I’m vaccinated and we’re all going to wear our masks, but it doesn’t stop me from worrying.”


Despite their concerns, students are looking forward to an improvement in their mental health with the return of in-person classes.


Student Erin Smith said, “I think that online school makes me feel very unproductive. I always feel stressed out about missing or not understanding an assignment, especially for my classes that don’t meet on zoom every day. In-person classes make me feel much more productive.”