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From Raleigh to Atlanta, students explore virtual classrooms across the country

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DTH Photo Illustration. A student works at a computer. As remote learning goes on, students can tune in to classes from anywhere in the world.

From cottages in Delaware to townhouses in Atlanta, UNC students have been creating their own classrooms for the fall semester outside of Chapel Hill. 

With the flexibility of remote classes, students are now able to find new spaces to take classes and adjust to the schedules of their new settings. 

Thomas Harley, a sophomore chemistry major at UNC, is spending the fall semester at his friend's beach house near Millsboro, Delaware. Originally from Miami, Harley did not return to UNC's campus in the fall. When he was offered a spot in his friend's beach house, he took it. 

“Me and my parents both realized that the responsibility that comes with living on your own is fundamental to your developmental years,” Harley said. “I wasn't really getting that living at home for the past half of the year, so we both decided it would be beneficial for me to get the experience to live on my own.”

Once they moved into the beach house, Harley said he and his roommates found creative ways to balance school while having fun. 

“We try to play Spikeball two or three times a week for a couple hours,” Harley said. “We watch movies every night basically, the five of us, so we definitely spend a lot of time together.”

Macy Goodson, a first-year nursing major at UNC, also found a unique virtual classroom for the fall semester. After moving out of the dorms due to de-densification in August, she said her cousin offered her a spare room in her apartment in Raleigh, where she will be living until the end of the semester.

Originally from Southern Pines, Goodson said Raleigh has provided her with a sense of freedom and proximity to UNC's campus, visiting friends throughout the week. Goodson also stressed the importance of prioritizing her studies in a new setting. 

Abigail Adams, a first-year political science major, said after her suite moved out of the dorms, her roommate’s dad offered them a townhouse in Atlanta. 

Despite having only met and lived together for two weeks, Adams said she knew it was going to be a positive change.

“Being on campus was the main reason why I chose to go there, because I knew that was like a way to separate myself from being at home,” Adams said. “Moving to Atlanta gave me a way to have a change that I would be getting just like staying in Chapel Hill.”

In addition to this change of scenery, Adams said Atlanta has also provided her and her suitemates with opportunities they would not have had in Chapel Hill.

“I think some upsides are that we get to explore,” Adams said. “We also just all get to be here together, which wouldn't be the case most likely in Chapel Hill, especially because the subleases and everything are for four people and we had five girls living here."

Alyssa Coleman, Adams' roommate and fellow first-year, has also been living in the townhouse. From cooking family meals to taking day trips around Georgia, Coleman and her roommates said they have found their rhythm in Atlanta.

“We plan our meals and then grocery shop, we do pretty good spending, not too much money, and then we cook and we eat dinner together and it's really fun," she said. 

With the semester ending soon, Adams said she has found another alternative for the spring. 

“I decided to live at the University of Maryland in an off-campus apartment” Adams said. “Two of my best friends and my boyfriend go there and I thought, you know, why not take advantage of the remote learning?”

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