News & Features

Abbie Keasler

SHS Freshman Abbie Keasler talks about campus and COVID

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 changed their expectations. Today, we speak with Abbie Keasler, a student in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science.

Q: Were you on campus?

A: I was not on campus this semester. I studied remotely from home, but my home is not in the Champaign-Urbana area.

Q: What was the deciding factor to stay home, rather than come to campus?

A: There were several factors that influenced my decision to stay home. When weighing all of the variables in my situation, I felt it was best for me to stay home. One thing I contemplated was the money I could save on housing and food by staying home. Another factor was limiting my possible exposure to COVID-19 by staying home. To be honest, I thought universities were not going to keep students on campus for much of the semester. Regardless, I am glad many college students were able to stay on campus until late November!

Q: What challenges did you discover with remote classes?

A: Surprisingly, my remote classes treated me well. But of course, there were difficulties. On my end, there were times when my internet was slow and uncooperative. I didn’t necessarily have any technology issues; the issues I had were rooted in the fact that I was a remote student. It was definitely difficult to find motivation to do my coursework and occasionally challenging to connect with my classmates. I thankfully never had issues with navigating Compass2g or connecting with my instructors.

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

A: I did not have much experience with remote learning from my high school before the pandemic hit. My high school did the best they could given the abruptness of the situation, but with my experience at Illinois, it has been similar to the experience I had when I took online dual-credit courses at my local community college. Both institutions utilized an online learning medium that organized assignments, course information, modules, etc. At Illinois, it has been nice to be able to have some virtual face-to-face time with instructors, whether that has been during class or in office hours.

Q: What is the one thing you can’t wait to do when you arrive on campus?

A: I have been asked this question many times! I can’t wait to just simply be on campus! I am looking forward to being in an educational environment with other students, meeting new people in a new atmosphere, and being able to experience the culture and life of University of Illinois and Champaign-Urbana.

back to news