Student struggles and successes this semester

Despite uncertainty about the future, the Muhlenberg community perseveres

Photo by Ayden Levine '23

“Burnt out, overwhelmed, scatter-brained, exhausted…” 

These are perhaps typical descriptors for students who just surpassed the midterm mark of the semester. But according to what various students report to The Weekly, the feeling has multiplied tenfold during this unprecedented semester — especially for students at home.

“The greatest challenge being off-campus for me has been the static feeling I get from being limited to one spot to have class, do homework and just live,” said Arianna Tilley ‘22. 

Vanshika Kumar ‘22 shares, “Being around friends and family… at home has been enjoyable and stressful at the same time. I no longer feel homesick but rather unmotivated and tired due to other situations at home. For me personally, it’s been harder to hold myself accountable for assignments and getting them done on time.”

“This semester has been nothing short of exhausting. Mentally, it’s been like watching your kid’s beginner band concert. Except it never ends,” says Brenna Barber ‘22. 

During a semester when many members of the Class of 2022 would have typically been studying abroad, Tilley finds herself struggling to “find motivation… [while] always staring at the same four walls.” 

It’s a pattern of responses, as the Zoom fatigue many students speculated about at the beginning of the semester truly sets in. 

“The workload for each class, at least in my experience, has not taken into account that students are still taking just as many classes, and/or working in addition to classes,” reports Sarah O’Sullivan ‘22. 

While the time off campus for many students allows them to explore new opportunities, like time with family or newfound jobs, it also leads to schedules that are even more strenuous than most students have on campus.

Students feel detached from the ‘Berg community right now, but are hopeful for the spring semester – “even if it’s online or hybrid classes.” 

Students hope “that everybody remains safe and that we have a bit more freedom.” Above all, even underclassmen sympathize with the Class of 2021 and “hope that they at least get to experience Muhlenberg one last time.” 

When that time comes, Michaela Morgan ‘23 reminds us, “The campus we will return to will not be the same one we left back in March. Follow the visitor’s policy, follow the COVID-19 policy, and please wear your mask so it covers your nose.”


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