Penn State Returns to Fully Remote Instructions, Students React

Story posted November 30, 2020 in CommRadio, News by Anjelica Rubin

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With Penn State’s decision to move all in-person classes online for the last two weeks of the fall semester in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, students have had to adjust to a new normal, away from Happy Valley.

For freshman Mihret Strauss, who chose to stay home for the fall semester due to the high risk that the coronavirus brings to her family, the change hardly affects her daily routine.

“I am working from home like I have done all semester long and this past summer as well, and while it does feel different not to be in a classroom with other students, I have gotten used to it,” Strauss said. “I haven’t experienced any other way of doing school at Penn State yet, so this is my normal.”

For other students like sophomore Mia Petrunyak, adjusting to fully remote classes will bring new challenges, especially when it comes to what many college students hate most: finals.

“Finals have been a bit difficult because I don’t feel motivated to study for them,” Petrunyak said. “With in-person classes, I was always able to find some way to stay organized and motivated. I could go to the library or meet up with a group of friends. But with online finals, the classes don’t seem as serious at all, and I find myself losing focus.”

While the university has made the decision that the spring semester will largely follow the fall in protocol as well as in the amount of in-person classes offered, for many students like Petrunyak, remote learning will continue to take up the majority of their class schedule.

“While it is really hard to experience college like this, I understand that there are sacrifices that have to be made to get through the pandemic,” Petrunyak said.

For more information on how the end of semester will work remotely, students can visit to access additional resources during the remote learning period.


Anjelica Rubin is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact her, email

About the Contributors

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Anjelica Rubin

Freshman / Broadcast Journalism

Anjelica Rubin is a freshman from State College, Pennsylvania with plans to major in broadcast journalism and political science at Penn State. She is a reporter and anchor for CommRadio’s news department, has interned for publications like the Centre County Gazette, and works as a field reporter for Penn State Network News. If you would like to contact her, email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).