BYU-Idaho students responded regarding how they felt about Zoom and what they will miss most about it when the campus opens in the fall.
Family and children
Many women have had children during the pandemic and were still able to attend class through Zoom.
“I had a baby in the middle of the semester, and all of my classes had the option of being remote, which I loved,” said Annixi Huffstutler, a senior studying music. “I would definitely miss having that option just in case something came up where I couldn’t get to campus in time.”
Many parents were able to stay home and spend more time with their kids because of Zoom.
“I’m going to miss being with my baby and husband,” said Emily Myers, a senior studying public health. “Remote/online allows individuals to be home with their kids and still get work done. I got straight As during this entire ‘stay home/COVID thing, and I had a baby when things were at their worst. I work full-time then come home and spend every moment possible with my family.”
Zoom has made it easier for parents to take care of their children and complete classes with the virtual help of professors.
“I am a mom, employee and student, so remote classes have been a blessing,” said Karla Acosta, a junior studying communication. “It’s hard finding a babysitter that you trust and that don’t charge an arm and a leg. It’s nice staying home with my son as I pursue an education and ask questions as the lecture goes.”
Having the option to attend class through Zoom has been easier for students who only have a few credits left to graduate and aren’t able to attend classes on campus.
“I’m having a baby in August and don’t want to take a semester off because I’m so close to graduating, but most of my classes have to be in-person, so it makes school with a newborn more tricky time management-wise,” said Mary Cisneros, a junior majoring in interdisciplinary studies.
“I’ll miss being able to not go on campus for my classes,” said Ryan Hanks, a senior studying mechanical engineering. “It has been nice to not spend extra time trying to get to and from classes, and the online resources teachers have been giving compared to in-person classes have been really great.”
Zoom has provided flexibility with peoples’ schedules.
“Whenever I had a professor who was sick, he could still teach,” said Adam Amott, a junior studying software engineering. “In addition, my younger brother is disabled. He normally gets to go out with people so my mom can get stuff done at home, but for a while, none of them could come. This has happened before, but COVID was the first time since I started college, and because my classes were all online, I was able to go home and take over caring for him. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without remote learning since my major isn’t possible with normal online classes.”
Mental illness, disabilities and health issues
“When I had a doctor’s appointment, a medical procedure, or just a really bad pain day, I could Zoom in for many of my classes,” said Alyssa Amott, a junior majoring in marriage and family studies. “My professors were able to give me that option because of COVID protocols. I am really going to miss it.”
Mental Health issues have affected students and their class experience. However, Zoom has made it easier and more comfortable for students dealing with anxiety, depression and ADHD to attend class
“I am an older student,” said Katie Walker, a freshman studying art. “I have severe anxiety and depression as well as other disabilities such as ADHD. Zoom classes during COVID allowed me to come to campus and remove myself from a stagnant situation. With Zoom classes, I have been able to ease back into society and college without the overload and panic attacks it has caused in the past. It has literally saved me and allowed me to start my higher education.”
Virtual classes through Zoom have helped students with anxiety and depression move past these obstacles and finish their classes.
“I suffer from depression and anxiety, and doing classes over Zoom was such a blessing for many reasons,” said Linny Steingraber, a freshman studying elementary education. “One of them being that I get super anxious in class settings. I was also homeschooled due to a heart condition and with my heart rate being so high, I overheat, and when I get too hot I feel faint. So I pray Zoom is still an option.”
People with disabilities have also benefited from virtual classes through Zoom.
“As a person with disabilities, it helped on the days that my body hurt too much to go to class or the days when my mind wasn’t in the right place, couldn’t leave the house, but still wanted to go to class,” said Rebekah Tiberend, a sophomore studying communication. “Zoom honestly held my attention better than traditional and online classes. I am sad to see them go but also plan to incorporate them into my disability plan for future semesters.”
“I really would want to keep Zoom classes; I like going to class on Zoom and learning, and also if I had a weekend trip I could take my classes with me instead of missing attendance,” said Haylie Rogers, a freshman majoring in general studies.
When travel opportunities come up, Zoom makes it possible for students to still attend class.
“My husband had an internship opportunity in California during COVID, and I was able to take a full schedule of classes and still go to California with him,” said Jessie Melton, a junior studying political science. “I definitely prefer in-person classes, but I wish they could keep zoom as an option for those with differing circumstances. It’s been such a blessing to us and so many others.”
Online classes versus Zoom
Zoom has been beneficial for students who have lived somewhere outside of Rexburg. They get the opportunity to interact with students and professors instead of taking online classes with little interaction.
“I just don’t see why the adjunct online professors can’t just do a section or two or remote classes rather than just purely online,” said Aldridge Gillespie, a junior studying music education.”I can’t tell you how much I love Zoom meetings compared to discussion boards.”
Balancing classes and a career
Zoom creates flexibility with being able to go to school and work.
“People can attend and pay tuition while they’re off-track because they can stay home and keep their jobs so that they can afford to continue toward a degree,” said Taya Powell, a senior studying mechanical engineering. “Remote options, at the very least, should have been implemented forever ago because of the progression of technology in education.”
Taking Zoom classes and working has helped students balance their school and work life.
According to Alex Gallagher, a reporter for the State Press, “Students with jobs have often played a balancing act between work, school and social life. Now some can better customize their schedules with most in-person classes now being offered online.”
During the pandemic, international students could take as many Zoom courses as they would like. Now that campus is going to be open for fall, they are only allowed to take one online class up to three credits.
According to International Services, “You must at least register for 12 credits. Only three credits or one online class counts towards the minimum of 12 credits, with the remainder being on-campus (in classroom) courses.”