First semester: surviving and thriving - The University of Tulsa

First semester: surviving and thriving

By: Adam Porterie

Back in August 2020 when I decided to take the fall semester fully online, I was deeply concerned with how I’d maintain my motivation to complete my courses and how my college experience would play out from behind a laptop. I consistently wondered how I could put myself out there to make friends in the least awkward way.

young man sitting at a desk reading while wearing a red face maskThere was this one moment after my first session in my First Year Experience course where I stayed in the room for a few minutes just talking with a couple other people that were taking the semester from home as well. After this encounter, we became a semester-long trio helping each other out with our various schedules. I found that just reaching out to the other students who were taking the semester online was the best decision. Putting my best foot forward has led to me meeting some really cool people who I hope to be able to see in coming semesters.

When I look back on fall 2020, I have a great feeling of pride in the path I set for myself. Challenges I overcame include an anxious first week of figuring out how I’d dedicate my time to meeting other students who were staying at home as well. I figured the situation of this semester would make it feel isolating, but I was surprised to find myself meeting people through the TU discord server and connecting with my friends in Texas as well.


For fall 2020, I was sure to not set my expectations high, as I really had no idea what to expect. I remember getting some of my first grades back and worrying that this might be all my semester would be: just assignments and lectures, with no real interaction. But, once again, my doubts were proved wrong as I really enjoyed myself and feel well prepared to continue my time at TU.

Adam Porterie is from Forney, Texas. He is majoring in business management with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. Adam loves making music and exploring new hobbies.