Our relationships in and beyond the classroom are undeniably central to the quality of our learning. And while it will surprise no one that virtual Princeton is markedly different from physical Princeton, the potentially damaging impact of online learning on our way of engaging with each other should alarm us. Knowing this — and knowing what lies immediately ahead — we should fight to mitigate the effects of these phenomena.
American presidents have the ability to set an example for the rest of the country. By being honest and open about their health, they can display how illness can be viewed not as a weakness, but as a mark of resilience.
In a normal semester, students may have been able to sow the first seeds of a budding friendship by turning to a peer in an orientation hall or large lecture class to exchange a few words. Now, side conversations have become relegated to the Zoom chat, where a quick private message about an assignment might just spark the beginnings of a new connection.