An Interview with Lai Moua ’22
Editor’s note: The following interview has been edited for clarity and length, and was conducted over Zoom in compliance with COVID safety precautions. The views expressed by the student interviewed do not represent the opinions of the Round Table.
This week on behalf of the Round Table, I interviewed with Lai Moua’22, a psychology major and health and society minor, about the upcoming school year, returning to the normal semester schedule during her senior year, and what awaits her and her classmates after graduation. She shared with me her thoughts on the mod schedule, her expectations and worries for her senior year, and some advice for our current first-year students.
(RT): I feel like the first thing I should ask you is, how you feel about the current mod scheduling that we’ve had for this past year?
Moua: Personally, I didn’t really like the modules. It was a little harder to like, understand and receive information. It kind of went in one ear and out the other. Like, yeah sure, I was going through classes pretty fast but it didn’t really feel like I was really learning the subject I was in. I did not like it; I know a lot of people that did like it, though.
(RT): That’s understandable. There are definitely plenty of people who also didn’t like the mod schedule, and other people who do like it. With your opinion on the mod scheduling, do you feel like you’re ready to return to the normal semester schedule in the fall?
Moua: Personally, no. I don’t think so. Like it’s hard because we’re taking two sets of two seven-week long classes right now, and like I feel like switching that back to the normal four full-length courses per semester is going to be a little hard for me as a student. I also think it’s going to be difficult for our professors to switch back to that normal schedule and get back into an old routine. The workload is going to be a little different, or at least I hope it’s only going to be a little different. During the mods we had such a heavy workload and I really hope that it’s a bit more lenient when we go back to a normal semester schedule.
(RT): Yeah, the switch back definitely seems like it’s presenting some potential challenges for you, which is understandable. Change is hard.
Moua: Yeah, it’s a little hard because most of my friends are going to be seniors and, like, we were looking at classes and saying to ourselves ‘some of these classes don’t really look good.’ And ‘they don’t really meet the requirements that we want and need for graduation.’ I don’t think there’s a good selection of classes next year, which is sad to say, because I know the professors are trying their hardest to accommodate everyone.
(RT): Are you concerned you won’t be able to graduate because of the current class selections?
Moua: To be honest, I haven’t really looked at the class choices that much yet. I don’t have a lot of classes left for my major and minor. I know my capstones for psychology are only taught during the fall semester, and there are a lot of seniors. So, if I don’t get in and others do, it’s like, ‘what am I supposed to do now?’
(RT): It does sound like there are some issues with going back to normal semester scheduling. However, this scheduling also comes with the promise of there being lots of on-campus activities again. Are you excited for any of those?
Moua: Yeah, my friends and I were just talking about how we want to kind of be more relaxed next year because it’s our senior year, and our junior year was robbed from us because of COVID. Even though there’s going to be a lot of work, we want to try to have fun. I miss just being able to go to SIG and just hang out with my friends and other social interactions. I have lots of interactions online, but we don’t interact in-person and that makes me sad. I miss giving hugs, I miss touching hands, and seeing people’s smiles. Can’t wait to go back.
(RT): That definitely makes sense. You chose to go to Beloit after all—it’s a small, private liberal arts college with an emphasis on community.
Moua: Yeah. I also work as a student assistant for the athletic trainers on campus. And when basketball season started, I couldn’t interact with any of the players. I miss traveling with the teams and things like that.
(RT): That’s understandable. What are your plans after graduation, and are you concerned about the job market because of the economic shake-up?
Moua: I was planning on getting a Master’s in sports psychology, but now I’m not too sure. I haven’t had a chance to do internships and I can’t interact with athletes directly with my student job because of COVID, so I’m not getting the experience I think I need to help me get some background for my Master’s. Like, I couldn’t even do any internships during my sophomore year because that’s when COVID shut everything down, and I can’t do any internships now because everything is still shut down.
(RT): That really stinks. I guess another question that I have is, given that we have a lot of first-years on campus who have never experienced a normal semester here at Beloit, do you have any advice that you would like to impart on them?
Moua: Yeah, for sure. I’ve noticed that a lot of the first-years this year are very close with one another, which is something that I felt I was missing from my own class. And that closeness is really good, but also really sad because of the situation we’re in right now with COVID. But because of the bond they have, once they can actually hang out with each other as their time here progresses, and they can help lower years out too. I think that for freshmen, definitely try to get a job where you interact with a lot of other people. Especially try to be friends with upperclassmen, because they can help you. It’s hard not knowing what to do when you first come in, and the lack of communication can add to that difficulty. Also, talk to your professors and get to know them! They can help you a lot with things like internships and projects!
(RT): Dang, that’s really good advice!
Moua: Yeah, it’s definitely hard coming here and not having any friends, but one day you’ll be connected with other people in your class. And again, I can’t emphasize enough to be friends with your professors! They will help you so much! I made Suzzanne Cox cry once. Weird flex I know, but…
(RT): Yeah, sounds cool. Is there anything else you want to say?
Moua: Just know that Beloit is not what it seems to be at first. It’s very eye-catching when you visit, but it will be different when you actually go here. There are people who really love it here, and there are people who really don’t. You need to find people who will be your friends. People should also respect the ladies in black that work in Commons and the housekeepers, too. They work their asses off. Also, take advantage of the free counseling on campus! I know I visited plenty of times. And yeah, I’ve had some down moments here at Beloit, which is sad to say because we spend so much money to go here. The food is…kinda bad. As a person of color, it’s hard to just constantly eat American food. Even though I was born in America, I’m used to eating Asian food and I don’t want to just eat burgers every day. Commons has a pretty good selection to help with that, though, despite the issues with it.