The end of the line online?

How seniors are coping with their last few weeks of college at home.

By Samuel Audisho

An image posted to the Ripon College Facebook page featuring a profile picture frame meant to honor the class of 2020. Photo Courtesy of Ripon College.

Due to Covid-19, Ripon College’s classes for the rest of the semester have been held online. While this is a huge change for all students at Ripon College, for seniors it means that half of their final semester was spent off campus.

This change means that seniors will not get to experience the ceremonies associated with the end of college in the usual way. The graduation ceremony has been moved from May to October.

“This major change in routine, lifestyle, and expectation of a normal end-of-year have certainly affected all students, but I believe that seniors encounter a different sense of loss and closure to their college experience,” said Cynthia Viertel, director of counseling services.

So how have seniors been coping with the situation? Some seniors have set up times to meet in order to simulate the social experience of college. In a poll posted on Facebook on April 1, senior Adam Wronski, explained that the senior class board has set up “an opportunity to stay in touch, vent about some of our ineffable frustrations, and hopefully still feel connected to our school.”

Through weekly Zoom meetings on Friday evenings, seniors can get together for a few hours.

The switch to online classes has also affected seniors, who must attempt to balance final projects and senior sems with their home lives. One senior, Eric Westberg said that the switch to online classes has not been easy.

“I don’t have a quiet place to be so I have my mic off. [I] had to buy noise canceling headphones just to be able to do class,” he said.

Viertel explained that “developing a new way of being a student and feeling like a productive student, is a work in progress for many.”

She added that for students who are struggling to cope with the situation, there are mental health websites with resources that may prove useful to them., and apps like Calm and Headspace, all are viable resources for good mental health. Also, Ripon College Counseling has been posting resources on their Facebook and Instagram pages.

“Reaching out to others and staying connected are also really important as we work through this time together,” Viertel said.