Ryerson University recently announced the full-time return to in-person classes in January — and students couldn’t be more devastated.
To highlight the universal despair felt by students across campus, here are four reasons why moving back to an in-person environment is not a good idea.
- No more funny glitches and mishaps
People think that the whole point of paying thousands of dollars to attend school is to learn, but that’s far from true.
What’s the point of learning if you don’t get to see your professor lag when they speak? It’s like there’s something missing when you actually get to hear them speak cohesively.
Yes, people can be invested in the content they’re learning by simply paying attention to the content being taught, but it’s not the same without experiencing the wrath of Zoom.
Students can always hope for their professor to just randomly start sputtering gibberish into their microphone an hour into the lecture and never return to normal form, but the chances of that are now low, and classes are going to be boring because of it.
First-year Centennial College electrical engineering student Cristobal Uribe agrees, and isn’t looking forward to it.
“In the middle of class there would be some random person who’s microphone was accidentally on and they would be arguing with their mom about taking a shower because he stunk, and now we won’t be able to see that again,” he said.
Unfortunately he’s right, and there likely won’t be anyone arguing with their mother in a lecture hall over their hygiene next semester.
- Lazy days are now over
Remember being able to go through three consecutive classes without once moving away from your bed, enjoying the feeling of your muscles slowly atrophying as the professor rambles about economics?
Well, hopefully everyone enjoyed it while it lasted.
Nobody wants to go through the process of putting on decent clothes and stepping outside the house to attend an hour-long class.
But that’s going to be the reality once again come January. It’s going to be time to bring out the boots and bundle up to face the cold winter.
No more staying in and drinking six coffees in an hour from the comfort of your bedroom. Now, you’re going to have to do that in a lecture hall, where everyone can watch you fidget and there’s no option to simply turn off your camera.
Arianne Keir, a fourth-year psychology student at York University, has no desire to start walking beyond her kitchen before 9 a.m. for the first time in almost two years.
“I have a class at eight in the morning next semester and I’m already anticipating never showing up,” she said. “I barely woke up in time for a 10 a.m. class on Zoom, and the few times I did I couldn’t stop grunting and being angry. This isn’t fair.”
- No more pets on Zoom calls
Showing the class your pet was something everyone could bond over. Everyone loved it.
Whether it be someone’s cute cat or adorable puppy, it’s clear that learning won’t be the same without the presence of domestic animals making surprise appearances.
Thomas O’Neill, a former film student at York University, enjoyed the furry cameo appearances.
“Sometimes [professors] rambled too much in their monotone voices and I fell asleep, so the dogs barking would honestly sound better than whatever the hell my [professor] had to say about choreography,” said O’Neill.
It’s unlikely there will be any dogs or cats in lectures to drown out the drowsiness, which is really too bad.
Most people would rather see cute animals than a whiteboard with questionable handwriting covering it.
With that in mind, departments better start considering the idea of having a funny dog run around lecture halls.
It doesn’t matter if they accidentally destroy the professor’s laptop or spill someone’s drink, if it means putting butts in the seats, it’s an idea worth taking seriously.
- Having to deal with social interactions again
It’s obvious that everyone is dreading the thought of having to talk to people again, and there’s no denying that all students are going to miss the wonders of virtual learning.
This includes breakout rooms, a feature so loved by every student that it’ll make anyone want to cry just thinking about it.
Silence is something everyone appreciates, and breakout rooms were the perfect time to exhibit that.
Looking at yourself through your black screen and awkwardly speaking to three strangers after taking 15 minutes to break the silence was a part of learning.
Besides the silence, being able to conceal your appearance at any point was extremely valuable in terms of staying focused on your work and not how terrible you might look.
Thomas Gotzamanis, a third-year journalism student at Ryerson, agrees with the sentiment.
“I have to show my ugly face to everyone now. Before I could just hide and turn my camera off before going online,” he said.
Despite all this, seeing professors in their natural element was everything students wanted all along.
Crina Mustafa, a second-year sport media student, says there is one extremely important thing that makes virtual classes superior by default.
“The school’s going to regret moving past an online format because [profs] can no longer teach classes in pyjamas,” she said.
It’s clear students want to stay online, and it’s time everyone gets together and fights for what’s right.