Educational institutions are all gearing up to reopen soon with due adherence to the Covid safety protocols set by the State government. While the institutions are sanitising the college premises, figuring out logistics to follow the one-student-per-bench and other rules, it is a different story for students. After almost a year of staying at home and attending online classes, it is definitely a surprise of sorts for students, but as most of them agree, it is exciting, in a positive manner.
Akin to realising the value of something after losing it, city students seem to have realised the importance of a college environment and atmosphere only after being forced to attend online classes for 11 months, as Viswanadh Varanasi, a final-year B.Tech student says, “I really missed the classroom environment and in fact, my mind used to wander off in the first few minutes of the online classes. It was like a mindless ritual staying at home and attending the classes.”
Vasistha Pochampally, a third-year student of SVIT has a similar story to tell. “I got fed up of being at home, though I used to dislike going to college at one point. Now I am waiting for it to reopen as the college will have a varied range of activities apart from just the classes.”
Final-year students usually cherish the last few months of college and some, like Mrinalini Sreeramakavacham, are glad that they are not missing out on it. “We feel very nostalgic about our college in the last few months and I am glad we are getting to go again. Though we went in November and December to write exams and all, it just wasn’t the same so I am actually excited to be sitting with my friends in classes again,” she says.
Students also have crucial activities like campus recruitment training and mock-interviews in colleges and those activities just can’t be done in an effective manner through online classes, as Vishwanadh explains, “Our social skills were also lost during the months at home and we now need real-life encounters to get them back. I realised this when I attended a mock-interview and I am looking forward to those too in college.” While the excitement is there, what all of them seem to agree on is the strict adherence to Covid safety protocols. “I have seen Covid up close in my family and I know how bad it can get. I really hope students and faculty members follow all the protocols and ensure everyone’s safety,” adds Vasistha.