OPINION: The final year of my program went left due to the COVID-19 pandemic

by | Mar 5, 2021 | Opinion

I started my first semester of Journalism school here at Humber in September 2018, feeling both nervous and excited at the same time as I began this new chapter in my life.

The first year of the program was the hardest in terms of adapting to the environment and my classes but at the same time. I wanted to stay because I developed a passion for journalism.

In second-year I was starting to show improvement, producing better photographs and stronger stories. Everything was heading in the right direction for me.

However, in March 2020, Humber announced it was cancelling classes on campus because of the COVID-19 virus. As a result, most programs were moved to online learning and graduation will now take place on a screen instead of a stage.

The newsroom transformed into our bedrooms, and as much as I tried, I felt I wasn’t learning nearly as much as I did in the classroom. My only question as my second year wrapped up was, “are we going to be able to return to campus by September?”

But as cases continued to rise across Ontario this seemed less likely by the day, and sure enough, as I sat down in September 2020, it was at my desk at home instead of in the classroom.

Like everyone else, I was upset by this decision. I felt like I was losing not only time learning from my professors but also interacting with peers and getting the full college experience before my upcoming graduation. I still miss being on campus every day, covering stories important to fellow Humber students and working within the routine I had just started to become comfortable with.

Not only did I lose valuable time in the classroom, but my internship, something I had been looking forward to throughout my time in the journalism program. It moved from being in a newsroom to right back in front of my computer.

It feels as if the pandemic has taken my education from me.

Hands-on learning, one of the reasons to go to college, has been near impossible, or at least, different. But despite the hurdles, I sit here having secured an internship. My classes are almost done. And I am beginning to realize my time at Humber is coming to a close.

As I approach the end, it is bittersweet.

As hard as this year has been, I have gained skills it would have been impossible otherwise. I know now I have grown immensely since my first year, and feel ready to tackle the next step. My first term in 2018 seems like a lifetime ago, but in three short years, it feels like I’ve grown up.