Many students attend college from home over covid-19 concerns

This fall brought thousands of new and returning students back to campus, excited to take in-person classes, interact with peers and generally experience any level of normalcy amidst an uncertain year and numerous COVID-19 regulations.

Many students, however, chose to stay home and take online classes in the wake of the pandemic.

Hannah Adams, a senior enrolled in the online commercial music program, is one of these students. She recently switched over from the songwriting program, but still takes songwriting classes.

Adams chose to not return to Liberty for a few reasons — the most prominent being her auto-immune disorder, Myasthenia Gravis. 

According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Myasthenia Gravis “is an autoimmune disease — a disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. In MG, that attack interrupts the connection between nerve and muscle — the neuromuscular junction.”

Because of the impact MG has on Adams’ body, she has to be extra cautious when dealing with COVID-19. 

“(MG) affects all the muscles in my body, so I am super nervous about getting (COVID-19),” Adams said. 

Though it was a large factor, her underlying condition was not the only reason she decided to stay home. Adams lives in Florida and was excited for the opportunity to spend some extra time in the warm weather with her family. She also knew that campus life would be different than what she was used to in the past. 

“I knew school wouldn’t be the same, so I prayed about it and thought staying home would be what’s best for me,” Adams said. “I still feel super happy about my decision. I’m still taking some residential classes, so I get to visit LU once a month and see some of my friends. I love living at home and controlling my class schedule – it gives me more time for family and work.”

Brenna Wolfinger, a senior biology student, also chose to stay home this semester in the wake of COVID-19.

“I chose not to return to LU this semester due to the fact that classes would most likely get moved online as a result of COVID,” Wolfinger said. “Although Liberty has one of the best online programs in the country, some classes such as labs
are better designed for in-person, hands-on work.”

Wolfinger feels good about her decision but expressed that she misses a number of aspects of campus life that cannot be replicated with online learning.

“I miss the amazing professors and students and getting to use the workout facilities,” she said. 

Though she is enjoying the added time at home, Adams also expressed that she misses elements of life at LU. 

“I miss Campus Community and seeing my friends every day,” Adams said. “I still felt like a kid at Liberty, and now I am having to deal with more adult decisions. At Liberty, you’re constantly surrounded with like-minded people.”

For information on how LU is handling COVID-19 and current statistics, visit the COVID dashboard on Liberty’s website. 

Kayleigh Hammer is a Copy Editor.

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