With online courses and limited socializing, freshmen feel they are missing out

The pandemic has left the McNichols campus feeling like a ghost town, according to one freshman. / Photo by Devonne Mccullough


Many freshmen at Detroit Mercy aren’t thrilled with missing out on what they see as the full college experience.

The pandemic is affecting everything about their first year, from their classes (mostly online) to their social lives (very limited).

Maddie Puletti blames the pandemic for the differences between her expectations of freshman year and the reality of it. 

“The main difference … (is) my classes being online,” she said. “I am surprised that a lot of my classes are set up to complete at your own pace.” 

This presents challenges for those not used to learning this way, she said.  

They must adapt to a new format and work through new ways to grasp information.  

According to Puletti and other freshmen attending the university, freshmen orientation was broken into two parts.  

“The first part was online,” she said. “I had to do (it) at home before going onto campus. When I got on campus, we had to do some in-person things but were taking precautions and social distancing.”  

She said everyone was split into groups to get to know other people, still taking precautions and social distancing with each other. There wasn’t much to it because of the pandemic and the restrictions, she said.  

Another first-year student is Sammiyah Hoskin, who is on the women’s basketball team.

She expressed her gratitude for just getting to be on campus and all of the adjustments that have been made to keep the campus safe.  

“It has definitely been difficult meeting new people,” she said. “I’ve been having to stay in my bubble because I’m an athlete.”  

Due to the majority of classes being online, Hoskin too has had to adjust to this new-to-her form of learning.  

Ryan Sang is also staying on campus but describes it as a ghost town. 

“There is nobody here,” he said. “I would never have thought my freshman year would look like this.” 

Alek Mauro is also a freshman.

“I have never really taken part in online classes in high school, so this is a very new experience for me and so far it has been quite challenging at times,” he said. 

While Mauro believes online classes take getting used to, he believes they are the best option for everyone and will have benefits in the long run. 

Not only do online classes promote safety and social distancing, they challenge students to manage their time wisely, he said.

One issue is finding answers to questions.                                                                                        

With remote learning comes remote office hours, which are much different from face to face or being able to ask your professor any question that is on your mind.

Sang has found this part tough. He is studying biology and his courses include a lot of hands-on learning, he said.