AUdapting: Ostenson on Remote Learning

BSCI students presenting

Transformation · Inspiration · Service

The AUdapting series features stories of transformation, compassion, and inspiration from students, faculty, friends, and partners of our AU family who have risen to provide leadership, innovation, and selfless service to meet the emerging needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Drew Ostenson, a senior construction management student, shares thoughts on transition, technical challenges, and lessons in remote learning.

From Lab to Long-Distance

Working remotely has changed my daily routine. Instead of going to Gorrie every morning, I go to my “office setup.” Instead of working on my desktop in the Thesis Lab, I work on a laptop at my house.

Functionally I am accomplishing the same work, but the method I am doing it is much different than it has been throughout my time at Auburn. While some differences stick out like software difficulties, a change in routine, and a new work environment, the biggest difference is not being with my fellow classmates who I have become so accustomed to working with these past two years.


The technological challenges have been the most difficult issues to coordinate. Given that on-campus equipment is especially geared for our learning, while personal laptops and computers aren’t necessarily so, this has been the biggest hurdle to jump through. However, faculty and students have worked together to overcome these issues and impactful solutions have been developed.

Mental Workspace

Setting consistent work times has worked well for me in this new environment. Creating an expectation of when I will spend time working on class material has helped to regiment my day so that time is not wasted.

Pivoting and Perspective

I have found that remembering the fact that this situation is the first time for everyone is important. Understanding that this is foreign territory to us as students, but also professors and faculty as well has helped to keep it in perspective.

I have also benefited from utilizing my ample free time (now that everything except for class is canceled) to invest more time in things I was not able to do as much of before. This is different for everyone, but some examples are reading, learning new subjects, or exercising.

I have also benefited from maintaining communication with friends although we are not together in Auburn anymore.

Drew Ostenson, from Alpharetta, Georgia is a member of Sigma Lambda Chi and Phi Slam. He has also served as the President, Vice President and Treasurer for the Auburn student chapter of the Alabama General Contractors. After graduation, Drew will be working for Brasfield & Gorrie in Atlanta.