Still Pivoting: What College will be like for Students in 2022


Anthony Erikson

One of the many spots on campus that use to be filled with students.

Candace Bistodeau, Contributing Writer

For those of us who were in classrooms in-person in the spring of 2020, the sharp and abrupt shift to almost exclusive online learning feels like a distant memory. We find ourselves almost two years removed from classroom spaces and in-person interactions on campus. Classrooms are still replaced by Zoom rooms for many colleges and universities, and many of us are asking ourselves, “Is this what college is going to look like for me”? For many, the answer to that question is yes.
While some colleges and universities have started to transition back to offering in-person classes (there are 227 in-person class sections at Anoka Ramsey Community College this spring), most classes are still being held exclusively online. Yes, there are some hybrid classes (partially online and partially in-person), but online learning is still the primary mode of education offered to students. So, what does this mean for students?
Anthony Erickson
  1. This likely is not going to change anytime soon
If you look at the current COVID-19 numbers in the United States, you will see that we have eclipsed 1.1 million cases of COVID-19, and there have been over 11,000 deaths linked to COVID-19. The pandemic is not going away, and online learning will be the primary form of learning for many of us until the pandemic is over. Yes, the transition back to in-person class options is happening, but it will be a slow transition.
  1. The learning challenges students face will continue
Many of us struggle in some way learning and taking classes online. From managing distractions to figuring out how each of our instructors want materials turned in, there are challenges that exist in online classes that do not exist for in-person classes. Trying to identify the challenges we face, and looking for ways to help manage or remove those challenges will be key for us to succeed academically. There are many articles online that give tips and suggestions for how to address many of the problems faced by students.
  1. We need to plan to be online for the foreseeable future
As we continue to look ahead for our own educational journeys, we need to start to evaluate how we can make the best of this situation. If we need to take classes online, what is the best type of online class for us. Would we do better in synchronous classes (set class meeting times like a traditional in-person class) or is an asynchronous class (recorded materials and more self-paced) better for our learning style and personal schedule? Should I still be trying to take a full load of classes, or should I scale back on the number of credits I am taking?
While these are only a few of the questions many of us likely have, we need to remember that we do not need to try to answer all these questions on our own. Anoka Ramsey Community College offers a wide variety of support services that can help us navigate these know, yet unknow waters. While we may not be sure of what the coming months and years of college may look like for us all, we just need to remember to stay flexible and to use the resources available to us to help us succeed.