Five things students miss about being at ARC

After being away from campus so long, you realize just how many benefits we don’t have anymore

There+are+so+many+benefits+and+advantages+that+students+at+ARC+can%E2%80%99t+use+anymore+on+campus+due+the+pandemic+which+has+forced+everyone+to+stay+home+during+the+semester.+%28File+photo+by+Emily+Mello%29

There are so many benefits and advantages that students at ARC can’t use anymore on campus due the pandemic which has forced everyone to stay home during the semester. (File photo by Emily Mello)

Brandon Zamora, Opinion Editor

American River College’s campus has been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and most classes have remained online since then. While some students may have gotten used to working from home during these uncertain times, others are still struggling making the adjustment and are missing out on the benefits of learning on campus.

Doing classes online and being away from campus for so long has made it clear just how much I miss going to ARC everyday. We had a lot of advantages and fun activities we could do on campus that we can’t get from being at home. Here is a small list of perks and activities I miss from being on campus..

1) In-Person Classes

While it sounds obvious, one of the things that a lot of students miss about being on campus is actually going to class and meeting in-person. Most students I’ve talked to who attend ARC agree that having a class face-to-face and having social and lively interactions with both professors and classmates is a much better experience than sitting at home looking through our screens to attend class and feeling isolated. Some classes are asynchronous, which are classes that don’t even meet weekly and you’re just assigned work to do during the week that you need to complete by the end of the week. One of my classes this semester is asynchronous and it’s proven to be a very tough challenge for me because I’m not sitting in a class where I am able to ask questions right away to my professor like I can with my other classes via Zoom. Not having in-person classes this semester has made college a lot harder for a lot of students at ARC.

2) Meeting up with Friends

While for the most part going to school everyday meant attending and sitting in class learning for 80 minutes during the week, we also had those moments of spending time with friends on campus and taking a moment to unwind and relax with them. On a day when you have three classes on a Monday but have that small break in-between classes to get a bite to eat and sit down with friends to catch up with each other and get in a few laughs to help relieve a little stress was something I really enjoyed while I was on campus. We don’t have that same interaction anymore as once we’re done with class we log off Zoom, and just sit at home waiting for the next class either by yourself or with family, and some people may not get the same interaction with them like they would with their friends.

3) Quiet Places to Study

While talking to one of my friends who’s attending ARC this semester, he mentioned that something he really misses about being on campus is studying or doing homework at the library because it was a quiet place where he could focus and not get distracted. That’s another advantage that some students don’t have anymore as some of us, myself included, live in a household where we have a lot of people living in as well, and it can be a very noisy environment. It makes it a lot harder to study or get homework done with all these distractions and due to the pandemic, a lot of places where we can study, and do our homework, which needs internet connection to get done, are not available anymore and we have to work from home, which isn’t the best location to concentrate.

4) Sporting Events

While sports isn’t something that everyone likes, attending a sporting event at ARC was something that I found to be a lot of fun before the pandemic came along. In my time with the Current, going to a sporting event like a football or basketball game and reporting on it was some of the most fun I’ve had as a reporter and a sports fan. Seeing the seats filled with students and family members in the audience and cheering for ARC to rally themselves while the team feeds off the roar of the crowd to gain momentum is truly a fun experience to witness. As a reporter I need to stay unbiased when reporting on a game, but I can still say that just going to a sporting event can be very fun and it’s something I miss about being able to go on campus.

5) Weird Encounters with Strangers

This is going to sound very weird and perhaps only a small percentage of people will agree on this, but something I miss about going to ARC everyday is bizarre encounters I had with random people. At least once a semester on campus, I would go to school, see a group of people with signs and try to get people’s attention over what they’re trying to promote, get students to sign-up for, or protest about. While some students may find those people to be very annoying and distracting, I always found these events to be interesting. I was always curious about what these groups talked about and how they were sending their message. Sometimes it was peaceful, sometimes there was a lot of yelling coming from both sides, but one thing they all have in common is that it always left me with a story to tell afterwards. Whether it left me laughing, freaked out or even angry, I could always look back on those encounters and just think how weird it was, and it would leave me with memories that I could look back on and tell to friends or classmates down the road to share my experience, but those are events I can’t witness anymore with online classes.

There’s a lot of advantages and events we can’t experience anymore because of this pandemic. It’ll still be a while before we’re allowed to go back to ARC, but when that day comes we’ll get to have these experiences once again in our lives as college students.