DA Voices: How has your transition been like coming back on campus?

Ashley Villeda, Social Media Editor

“DA Voices” is a recurring feature used to spotlight De Anza College’s diverse community voices. We ask the same question to different people and arrange their quotes so that readers can see varying points of view. This week, our reporter Ashley Villeda asked, “How has your transition been like coming back to campus?”

Quotes have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity. 

As the fall quarter begins with more in-person classes since the pandemic, new and continuing students have begun adjusting to the De Anza College campus. Five students who have been attending in-person classes shared their feelings about coming back on campus..

Merleen Ayson, 25, psychology major (Ashley Villeda)

Merleen Ayson, 25, psychology major, dropped out during the online period and has returned to De Anza for a fifth year.

“I’ve been on campus before COVID and I dropped out during the whole online thing because it was very difficult,” Ayson said. “Coming back on campus, it was a lot of anxiety. There were so many more students on campus before COVID like the parking lots and classes, it was a lot busier.”

James Hessel, 18, engineering major (Ashley Villeda)

James Hessel, 18, liberal arts major, has previously taken an online class last year in high school and now takes classes on campus.  

“Figuring out where all the classes, bike racks, restrooms and all the basic stuff is has been a little difficult,” Hessel said. “But getting to know people on campus has been nice.”

Kai Winebarger, 18, kinesiology major
(Ashley Villeda)

Kai Winebarger, 18, kinesiology major, has been on campus prior to fall quarter due to the track meets.

“It has been very well. I’ve been getting used to running at the track at De Anza and the campus is bigger than my old high school, so that’s been a huge improvement,” Winebarger said. “It’s an honor to be here and I’d love to keep staying here.”

Mudra Patel, 18, computer science major
(Ashley Villeda)

It is the first time that Mudra Patel, 18, computer science major, has been on campus since the pandemic and says it feels good to be back.

“I missed school, I actually like learning a lot,” Patel said. “You know the transition to online school, it was rough because I didn’t learn anything and I hated it. But I like seeing people here. I want to talk to people in person and not through a camera.”

Chelsea Mata, 20, sociology major (Photo provided by Chelsea Mata)

Chelsea Mata, 20, sociology major, is conflicted between the new experience of being in-person and certain overwhelming expectations.

“It’s refreshing to finally engage one-on-one and talk to students (because) Zoom is less engaging,” Mata said. “But I will admit part of me is overwhelmed. So many of my classes are back-to-back. I’m just used to doing everything online.”