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For now, Sandhills Community College’s “new normal” is online instruction. Three students, Wesley Bergerson, Donny Ravelo, and Lindsay O’Reilly shared their experiences with the transition from classes taught traditionally in the classroom, to virtually, and offer advice to fellow students.

Wesley Bergerson takes a selfie, his workspace in the background.

Wesley Bergerson in his home workspace.

Wesley Bergerson is majoring in Civil Engineering Technology and Architectural Technology at SCC. With his extra downtime, he’s been doing light construction work and catching up on video games.

He’s adjusted to online learning well, although he says procrastination is easier now. To that point, Wesley offered this advice to fellow students: “You just need to treat it the same as attending regular classes, carve out the time each day to sit and work. The other thing is, pay attention to due dates and properly prioritize your assignments.”

He said that the entire Engineering Technologies department has been a great resource for him. “They are all doing their best to support and ease this transition as much as possible.”

Donny Ravelo, also studying Civil Engineering Technology, said that the transition to online classes was an adjustment, but after the extended spring break, things became smoother. “All of my professors have been great and very accommodating to questions. Professors McManamon and Sheffield as well as Instructor Johnson, have all worked very hard to host Collaborate sessions for the classes and smaller groups if needed.” Collaborate is a web conference software.

During this time of online classes, Donny has been trying to get outside as much as possible, whether it be hiking with his family or working out with his wife, Amy.

His advice for students – check Moodle daily and have a reliable method of tracking due dates.

Lindsay O'Reilly pictured at her home workspace.

Lindsay O’Reilly in her home workspace.

Lindsay O’Reilly is earning her Baking and Pastry Arts certificate and owns Tanglewood Bed and Breakfast in Southern Pines. She’s adjusted to online learning, although it’s a bit different baking at home and not utilizing the commercial kitchen equipment available at the college. “I love to bake at home, so I’m still trying new recipes from my textbook each week. Our Chef has been providing videos of both himself and others so it gives the feeling of being right there in the classroom!

“Baking is so much about learning the feel and look and textures of the doughs, and that is hard to learn online. It’s also been a challenge to obtain some necessary ingredients: butter, bread flour, yeast, etc. but Chef was able to give us some ‘baking necessity kits.’

“I’m surprised that I have been able to stay motivated with all that is going on in the world right now, almost as if my online class is giving me a sense of purpose. With my business all but shut down at the moment, my school work is giving me something to help structure my days…Chef Brunner has been great throughout this transition. I think it was wonderful that he was able to provide us with ingredients so that we could continue our baking at home and he’s been great at communicating all of the changes that are occurring.”

With the extra downtime Lindsay has, she’s renovating one of the apartments. “We live on a farm so there’s always something to do, whether it’s riding my horse, or playing with our bunnies or collecting eggs. But I have developed a slight addiction to puzzles and sneaking late night potato chip snacks in bed!” she admitted.

Her advice to fellow students? “Make a schedule and stick with it. Not only will it give you some structure and order to your day, it will also help keep you on track and not get behind.”

We’re all in this together in these unprecedented times. If you’re an SCC student and need support – whether that’s counseling, help with your online class, or financial aid, please visit to see how we can assist you.

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