As Texas Tech University students this past fall walked back on the campus they called their ‘home away from home,’ the sensation was different to say the least. Faces were covered, people stayed six feet apart, and classes were taught through Zoom.
Jeremiah Neal, an agricultural communications major and past Texas FFA state officer, has faced several challenges since the second half of his freshman year.
“Being able to be back in the classroom has made this semester better than having all my classes online,” Neal said. “Since most classes are hybrid, I have class with new people which opens up doors to meet these new people.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic many students found it difficult to meet fellow classmates as they completed their coursework either online or in a hybrid format.
During the spring 2021 semester, many courses shifted back on campus, but remained in a limited capacity and hybrid format.
“I knew things would eventually get better or I would get more in the groove with online learning,” said Morgan Johnson, a sophomore agricultural leadership major. “I am more than ready for things to go back to normal, but I am beginning to adapt to the changes that have happened since I’ve been in college.”
Professors are also ready to get back to teaching in normal classroom settings. Vikram Baliga, associate professor and Texas Tech greenhouse manager, teaches his principles of horticulture course of nearly 200 students at full attendance in the Allen Theatre with 936 seats.
“I am ready to get back into a normal setting of teaching my students,” Baliga said.
Texas Tech has made other accommodations around the campus to provide the “normal” college experience while still following social distancing guidelines. An outside seating area for students, faculty and staff was set up during the spring 2021 semester to help the campus community take advantage of fresh air and sunshine on nice Lubbock days.
Despite the unusual last few semesters on the Texas Tech campus, students still continue to carry their Red Raider spirit.