The hallways of buildings on campus are empty with the majority of stu­dents back home during the COVID-19 out­break. Maria Servold | Collegian

For the first time in its history, Hillsdale College will have online-only classes for current stu­dents due to the COVID-19 pan­demic. This new chal­lenge and the new form of edu­cation gives stu­dents a chance to grow in their pursuit of wisdom and devel­opment of the soul. 

Now that learning is online, the setting of this pursuit has changed, but the purpose of a Hillsdale edu­cation remains the same. 

Hillsdale does not cel­e­brate online learning for its under­graduate studies, but our pro­fessors are com­mitted to making the most out of this time. Sim­i­larly, stu­dents should use this first week of online learning to develop new habits at home in order to learn well in the coming weeks. 

With news updates about the virus popping up on phones, com­puters, and tele­vi­sions all the time, it may be dif­ficult for stu­dents to step outside the chaos of the day and prepare their minds for learning. Lis­tening to lec­tures by pro­fessors from afar may feel fruitless when people are losing their lives around the world, and many states in America have stay-at-home orders. 

But this tur­bulent time is an oppor­tunity for stu­dents to reex­amine why they chose to attend Hillsdale College and redis­cover the purpose of gaining wisdom. 

When stu­dents arrive on campus for freshman con­vo­cation, they are told to prepare for a chal­lenging four years and to “put your boots on.” 

With this being one of the most unstable times in the modern world’s history, stu­dents at Hillsdale have a duty to overcome adversity and work dili­gently to max­imize their time learning remotely. 

The purpose of receiving an edu­cation from Hillsdale goes beyond earning a degree. Stu­dents and pro­fessors use the classroom setting to engage in dis­cus­sions about eternal ideas from history’s greatest figures. Pro­fessors guide stu­dents down the path of knowledge and help stu­dents dis­cover for them­selves the truth about the world around them. 

This knowledge gives stu­dents wisdom about how to under­stand the times in which they are living and the problems they face. 

As stu­dents prepare for the coming weeks of learning from home, it’s important to remember life is meant to be lived well, some­thing we learn con­stantly inside and outside the classroom. It will be easy to sleep in and put off reading, but stu­dents should hold them­selves accountable and motivate one another to put forth their best effort during this time of uncertainty.