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Sam Harris

KCH Freshman Sam Harris talks about campus life in the COVID era

Freshmen are entering college in a unique environment, and that includes students in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois. The AHS communications staff spoke with new AHS students about campus life, why they decided to come to campus—or stay home—and how COVID-19 is changing their expectations. Today, we speak with Sam Harris, a student in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health.

Q: Are you on campus?

A: Yes, I’m on campus.

Q: What made you decide to be on campus?

A: I decided to live on campus because I saw it as my only opportunity to have the “college experience” given our global circumstances. I definitely would’ve regretted not living on campus, especially if the school had to shut down for the spring semester. Plus, I just couldn’t stay in my house any longer.

Q: What challenges have you found in navigating campus?

A: I actually haven’t found any issues navigating campus. A day after arriving, I just spent the whole day walking and locating different pathways to specific locations. Though I prefer to walk, I have also noted the buses I would need to get on, so yeah I think I’m handling it pretty well.

Q: Have often are you in a classroom, as opposed to taking remote classes?

A: I’m only in the classroom once a week for a Chem Merit discussion. Every time I go, I take full advantage of being in-person.

Q: What challenges are you discovering with remote classes?

A: With my remote classes I believe it’s difficult to remember if classes are asynchronous or synchronous, and sometimes I have a mixture of both.

Q: Tell me what you think about the COVID testing process. Has it been easy to find a testing site? 

A: The testing process has been great! I’m in and out in a matter of 10 minutes and results have been coming in a reasonable matter. I’m continuing to follow my given schedule, especially after realizing that the weekends are not the best time to go in because of the long wait.

Q: What are the differences between your high school remote learning experience, and here at Illinois?

A: My high school remote learning was fairly easy. Because I was a senior, and it was near the end of the year, majority of my classes had slowed down in size of homework or projects. And from what I can remember, none of my classes were on Zoom, therefore it was an asynchronous learning experience. Illinois remote learning is more structured and there is variation in terms of Zoom or not, which is tolerable.

Q: Have you encountered any of the Wellness Safety Ambassadors? What has that experience been like?

A: Yes, I’ve encountered Wellness Ambassadors. I think they’re doing an excellent job at supervising and reminding students around campus to constantly wear their masks and have sanitizer on deck.

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