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This past year certainly hasn’t turned out to be what anyone expected. Our students have persevered, learning how to study in virtual classrooms and finding new ways to stay connected. We checked in with several students as they shared challenges they’ve faced since the start of the pandemic and advice for others navigating this new normal. 

Madison Evans
Rank: Freshman
Major: Social Studies Secondary Education
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Morgantown, West Virginia

What challenges have you faced since the start of the pandemic?
Madison Evans
Madison Evans
Some challenges I have faced are trying to find things to keep me busy, keeping in touch with people and learning to navigate online classes.

What resources have helped you navigate and overcome those challenges?
Refresh and WVUp All Night helped me find different activities to do and meet some people with the same interests as me. My professors have helped me with the online classes and perform better in that environment. 

What has been the most challenging part of virtual learning? How did you meet that challenge? What advice would you share with other students who may be taking an online class for the first time?
Laptop showing a virtual class
Madison attends a virtual class.
I took a Spanish language class online. It was challenging because there were sometimes technical difficulties, so it was hard to learn and understand the new language. I would always email my professor with questions and to ask for help. I highly recommend keeping in touch with your professors especially if you don’t understand something because they will help you the best they can. Also, use programs like Khan Academy if you’re still struggling because those always help break complex topics down more. 

How has your arts and sciences education helped you prepare for unexpected circumstances, like the pandemic?
The Eberly College has provided me with all of the resources I would need in any type of situation. My advisers have helped me change and adapt my plans so I can still obtain the education and experience I need. 

Madison's niece helps with homework.
Madison's niece helps with homework.
What have you learned about yourself since the pandemic began?
I have learned that I am not alone because everybody is also trying to figure out how to adapt and continue on like I am. I learned patience is a must, and it is OK to not be on top of everything all the time. 

How have you found resilience during these difficult times? What have been your keys to getting by?
Within all of the craziness, I learned to stop for a moment and breathe. I slow down, and I look at the overall goal and what I want to achieve. Although it gets tough, I take a deep breath and keep going, keeping my goals mind. Time management has also been helpful because it prevents me from becoming more overwhelmed.