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Interview of a freshman (Entering Class of 2021)
It has been one and a half years since the university adopted online classes due to COVID-19. We asked Jung Chae-wu, a student in the Department of Forest Sciences, on how the CALS freshmen have been engaging in campus activities. Jung, who had a lot of interest in the field of forest environment when he applied to CALS of SNU, is now a member of the Sinpung club with others majoring in forest environmental science, Department of Forest Sciences. Having gone through the fierce admissions process during high school years, he dreamed of enjoying his campus life, trying the cafeteria, socializing with others, and attending on-campus lectures taught by our faculty. Due to the pandemic forcing him to stay home for online classes, he could rarely come on campus to live the campus life he originally hoped for.
In an effort to make up for the loss, the departments within CALS held various online welcome events for incoming freshmen. Other than these official events, however, the reality makes it quite difficult for the freshmen to acquire information necessary for participating in campus activities. Jung mentions that it would be helpful if more information was provided on how to use university facilities such as libraries as well as on common etiquettes expected from their users.
He says that while online classes have some drawbacks such as a reduced level of concentration during lectures, they also have the advantage of allowing students to rewatch the portions that are difficult to understand as well as facilitating efficient use of time. Now that the online classes have been the norm for more than a year, he has become used to them and was able to overcome most of the initial difficulties. Nonetheless, he still finds it troublesome to ask questions during lectures and wishes for an alternative method of communication other than emailing his questions as they tend to take quite some time to be answered.
When the COVID-19 situation stabilizes, Jung personally hopes to use libraries and other CALS facilities to study for exams and he also wants to participate in student club activities which are now forbidden by the university rule against any gathering of five or more people. We at the Green Earth with SNU also regret that many freshmen have been barred from properly enjoying their campus lives and wish for a future in which they can utilize various campus facilities, take a walk around on campus, and enjoy all that the university could offer.