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by Nikita Bhangu

The most significant way COVID-19 has impacted me was by changing my traditional education setting and structure. Like most students in Michigan and the rest of the country, my learning experience was confined to a computer screen, and the structure of the classes became less engaging than before. Throughout one class period during a typical academic year, I would have interacted with my teacher through lectures and lively conversations and debate with my peers during group work and study sessions. Now, the majority of dialogue is one-way through pre-recorded lectures or virtual lecture times where I see all my peers as black screens. I do not think it is an overstatement that the social implications of this pandemic were felt and are still being felt by every single person, and it is particularly felt in the removal of the classroom environment for me. However, since I have the platform to do so now, I would like to stress the purpose of why this seemingly 180-degree turn of our lives happened, which is for the sake of putting the public health of our fellow students, family, friends, and neighbors first. Although many students’ educational experience has gone through withdrawals of some of its most chief elements, students have also gained skills such as a new degree of responsibility, resilience, creativity, and compassion. As young adults, we have lived through a time that has tested us mentally and educationally, but luckily not wholly to the pandemic’s avail.