Opinion | ‘Don’t Lose Hope’: Addressing the Breakdown of College Education – The New York Times

by | Jun 5, 2022 | Education

When the college returned to “normal” this year, they overlooked the fact that they have a sophomore class of isolated, anxious, depressed kids. The freshmen got the usual orientation. Sophomores were expected to just adapt.J.M.: The pandemic severed countless human connections, quietly causing untold harm. Isolation is a major obstacle to the purpose of college, because “the transformative ends of higher education” depend on relationships, including peer relationships, as the researchers Peter Felton and Leo M. Lambert show in their book, “Relationship-Rich Education.”Gathering people in the same place obviously risks viral transmission, but it also permits modes of learning and mentoring that are hard to replicate any other way. Tyler Burkhardt, a student at the University of Texas at Dallas (where my wife teaches and where I taught last year), told me that when he was taking remote classes, he missed the spontaneous interactions with his peers. Online, he said, “there’s not that network of people to continue interacting with after the class to keep that knowledge fresh and keep applying it.” As a result, he said, he retained less of what he’d learned.‘Learn as much as you can, and take as much pleasure in it as you can.’Molly, Chicago: As a college student at a private institution, our course loads are rigorous and the academics demand discipline. We are also expected to get internships and jobs to launch our careers. We are being asked to do all of this at a time of mass trauma. This is on top of the mismanagement of Covid cases currently going on at our school.In many ways, I have become a far more disciplined student than before the pandemic, but I h …

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