Having had all classes online since March 2020 when the campus closed due to the pandemic, HSU is now transitioning to in-person classes for Fall 2021.
As a safety precaution, CSU recently announced that HSU will require all students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated before using campus facilities. More vaccinations have become available in Humboldt County for citizens for ages 16+. However, some students are feeling anxious about going back to in person classes.
Steffi Puertis is a journalism major whose anxiety has worsened during online classes.
“When I talk through Zoom I don’t see anyone’s reactions, and there’s a lot of silence,” Puertis said. “It kinda makes you feel like you are on the spot, which is super scary and makes me more nervous to talk. Sometimes my professor will ask a question and I know the answer but I get too anxious to reply.”
Although more vaccinations have been given out throughout the county, not everyone has taken the right precautions.
“One thing that does make me nervous about going back to in person classes would be that some people might not take COVID-19 protocols seriously,” Puertis said. “They think that everything is back to normal, which it isn’t.”
Courses will be offered as face-to-face, virtual, and hybrid options for the fall.
“[Offering options] does ease my anxiety because it gives students who don’t feel comfortable attending campus the choice to feel the same at home,” Puertis said. “As well as giving the opportunity to students who want to be back in the classroom that choice.”
Ryan McRae is an ecology major. His anxiety is worse during online classes because there is no accountability.
“I always found myself doing anything other than school work, which would make my anxiety worse,” McRae said.
Even though HSU is taking strict precautions, not everyone feels comfortable going back to campus.
“I am excited for classes to start in person again but I am waiting until all classes are face to face to return myself,” McRae said. “I am most nervous about the social aspect since I’ve been quarantined for over a year.”
Destiny Cypres is a creative writing major. She feels her anxiety is worse during in person classes.
“I have a fear of public speaking in general, but at least over Zoom I can take a minute for myself to collect my thoughts in a safe environment,” Cypres said.
Though HSU is taking precautions to help make students feel more comfortable on campus, Cypres still has concerns.
“I am vaccinated, and I still am pretty fearful of going back to in person classes; I just think everything is moving a bit fast,” Cyprus said. “To immerse myself back into that environment with so many people kinda scares me.”
However, Cypres feels that face to face learning is much more valuable than looking at a screen.
“I just want everyone to be safe, including myself,” Cypres said. “I don’t think I’d feel comfortable coming back if they didn’t [require vaccinations].”