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College and Covid-19: Recent LHS graduates share experience

Covid-19 has caused many changes to occur; one of those many changes has been the way in which our young adults are attending college. Whether they returned to college for another semester or this was their first semester at college, many area youth have felt the impact that Covid-19 is having on post-secondary education.

Colleges around the country have had to alter the way in which their students attend classes and live on their campuses. Many of the classes that students would have normally attended in person have moved to online.

According to Riley Peters of Lennox, this has led to what she believes to be the hardest part of college and adjusting to the Covid-19 changes.

Peters said, “I am not able to get the hands-on experience that I would like.”

Peters is pursuing an Elementary and Special Education degree and she can’t wait for classes to return to normal and not to have to wear a mask anymore.

While Peters had already had a few semesters of college prior to Covid-19, one other local youth started college right in the middle of a pandemic and has faced a slightly different college experience than most.

Rylee Stoebner, also of Lennox, started college this last semester pursuing a degree in Nursing. While Stoebner’s first semester was nothing like she imagined it would be, she has definitely learned so much about herself and what she wants to do with her future.

When asked if Stoebner saw a lot of students and professors miss class due to Covid-19, she replied, “at the beginning of the semester the number of Covid cases went way up.”

Despite the number rising Stoebner said the University of South Dakota has always made her feel safe and if someone did become sick, they just adjusted to online classes for a few weeks and returned to normal classroom learning as soon as possible.

Along with classroom learning not always being guaranteed, Stoebner also didn’t get the chance to really meet a lot of people due to Covid-19.

Most people meet their lifelong friends in college but when you are restricted on meeting in groups and not allowed to go to activities, it can make meeting people difficult. Even though Stoebner didn’t get the chance to participate in as many activities as she had hoped, she is eternally grateful for having an amazing roommate this first semester. Her roommate will forever be a huge part of her life.

Despite our youth having to adjust and adapt to the ever changing rules and restrictions Covid-19 is imposing on them they are still excelling and persevering in the face of it.

While Peters and Stoebner are at different stages in their college careers, they both have a positive outlook for the future and can’t wait for what lies ahead.

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