The Year No Freshman Expected

EvCC freshman students discuss the exclusively online year.

onFrom graduating high school in spring quarter of 2020 to now transitioning into their sophomore year of college, EvCC’s 2020-2021 freshman class has faced it all during this pandemic.

At the beginning of the school year, it was difficult for most freshman students to transition from high school level work in-person to college-level courses strictly online.

This caused many freshmen to feel as if they were going solo and facing their battles alone.
There are resources available, but students don’t automatically know who and what is out there to help them. Especially in their very first quarter, extra assistance is needed.

Some freshmen were never introduced to Canvas which EvCC utilizes extensively for courses.
This made it so that understanding coursework, navigating through a new site and balancing the pandemic was a fair amount of pressure.

Yuli Marquez overcame several challenges her freshman year. (Vicky Martinez)

Current EvCC student, Yuli Marquez, said, “I had never used canvas before, and it was entirely new to me.

Figuring out how online school worked was a struggle.” She would describe her first year as “challenging, independent, rewarding, confusing and flexible.”

The biggest obstacle that Marquez had to overcome in her first year of college was finding the time for work, school and her personal life. She said, “I had in mind that the virus was going around, and I still had to work in case of any money problems. Especially [for] school expenses in case financial aid wasn’t an option.”

Most students had to work on the front lines during this difficult time. From grocery stores to fast food industries, nothing was easy. The pressure was overwhelming for meeting deadlines on schoolwork and balancing time between live-streamed courses and working.

Another current EvCC freshman, Abigail Groves, describes her first year of college as “tiring, time-consuming, frustrating, confusing and difficult.” Although Groves took more classes in high school, it was less work when compared to the three courses she has been taking each quarter at EvCC.

Looking back on this school year and thinking about what they could have done differently, both Marquez and Groves wished they would have reached out to their classmates and advisors. Making connections over Zoom is not always easy. If professors didn’t include breakout rooms during class time, it was nearly impossible to build friendships.

Groves said, “it did not even seem as if I was attending college. It was just more schoolwork after graduating high school.”

Abigail Groves did not feel as if she got the full college experience. (Courtesy Photo from Alexis Norman.)

College is about finding the right resources for you and stimulating growth in both your social life and education. Online school has decreased that opportunity that would normally be found during in-person learning.

Now that there is hope to go back to in-person learning this coming fall quarter, students are nervous, yet eager, to finally get a taste of what college is really like.

Although this year has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, congratulations to the freshman class for persevering through this difficult time. Here’s to year number two.