From Remote to on Campus

Staff Writer Emily Hedegard details the drastic change in the learning environment coming from high school to college.

As midterms come to a close, I have taken more time to reflect on my first semester at college. It is hard to believe that my experience has been real. When Covid-19 brought schools to a screeching halt in late March 2020 I, along with UNE’s other first-year students, were only Juniors in high school. That means that many students, myself included, haven’t sat in a classroom for almost two years. To suddenly enter a new, in-person, environment was a huge change for many of us. We spent the last half of our high school experience in our bedrooms and now suddenly we’re living on a college campus going to class every day. 


This drastic change of being completely remote versus living with a complete stranger can feel startling at first. We may feel nervous thinking about the 12,000 students enrolled at UNE along with our health and the health of our families and friends. However, even though this has been such a large change, this progression may not be so bad. First-year student Miranda Silva explains, “It’s nice to be around people again. Especially since I’m a new college student, it’s definitely easier to meet people in person, instead of online.” Although remote learning was necessary, it truly did separate many people from having “normal” relationships with their friends. Being fully immersed in the college experience helps create opportunities that online learning could not. Silva goes on to say, “Also, being in person actually allows me to have labs.” In-person learning has clearly improved academic success for many first-year students and upperclassmen alike. Engaging with new people, trying new activities, and taking advantage of what UNE has to offer, can help further our growth into the well-rounded citizens that UNE’s curriculum helps prepare us for.


Although many students on the campus may feel cheated out of a high school experience, it is important to understand that as UNE students, we now have a whole new world of experiences opened up to us. A plethora of clubs, internships, and learning help is easily accessible to all students. As the first quarter of our year comes to an end, remember to take advantage of the opportunities in-person learning, and UNE has to offer.