A Student's Perspective On The Pandemic
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Student Life

A Student's Perspective On The Pandemic

Students are being affected by the shift from in person classes to online schooling in more ways than people realize.

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A Student's Perspective On The Pandemic
Danielle Wagner

My couch has become my classroom, my criss-crossed legs are my new desk, the kitchen is my dining hall, my younger sister is once again my roommate, and my parents are now my RAs. The COVID-19 Pandemic has taken its toll on everyone in unique ways. Health care workers are our superheroes, fear of getting sick is everywhere, the class of 2020 has been cheated in so many ways, and posts alternating between bad and good news shower the internet. One perspective that I think is missing from the media is that of students in this period of total online learning. Yes, we hear from the teachers that miss their students, or the parents that can't help their children with "new math," but what do the students have to say about their experience?

As a first-year college student, my world was turned upside-down in more ways than one. When I was informed that the college campus was going to be closed for the rest of the semester, I was devastated. I was in tears, trying to find all my friends so I could say goodbye. We had plans to hang out, go on weekend trips, and stay up all night to watch movies. Our plans, and living arrangements were suddenly thrown out the windows. I didn't get to say goodbye to everyone, and that broke my heart because the friends that live hours away, I likely won't see for another six months. Right now, we do the best that we can to stay connected by doing lunch and study sessions over video chat.

Continuing with the lifestyle changes, it was somewhat of a challenge getting used to going about my "school day" at home with my family. Despite the previous 12 years of education, learning how to go about my new routine with my family also at home trying to create their new normal was interesting to say the least. We all had different lunch breaks, had equal needs for internet access, causing others to go offline while one of us was on a video conference, I had video classes that ran right through dinner, not to mention, I was used to staying up all hours of the night to work on homework, and now I felt like I had to work in silence hoping not to disturb anyone. I think the hardest part was probably the internet cutting in and out and the understanding that what once was our family normal of lunch around noon, and dinner at 5 p.m. would have to be adjusted.

Then there was social media showing the many different hobbies and skills people were perfecting, making me feel inadequate that I could not keep up with my school work and the latest Tik Tok. I do know that there were several students that had lifestyle changes much more drastic than mine. I had friends going home to find jobs, babysitting younger siblings, or even taking care of aging grandparents. These students surely didn't have as much time to work on the homework that increased significantly.

Academically, the classes themselves didn't get harder, however, the workload increased. I understand that converting an in person class to online at the last minute left everyone unsure of how to proceed. I am a first-year education student, and in my classes, I was supposed to be in a classroom observing and preparing to present a lesson. However, as the student, in place of lecture and discussions, we were given video lectures and frequent discussion boards, on top of already planned quizzes, readings, assignments, and tests. The extra work made it harder to plan how my day would look and my timeline of completing assignments. It was as if I was in a constant state of panic, hoping I didn't forget to do something. Not to mention how many peers and myself struggled to focus while doing work at home because distractions were surrounding us. Many speeches that I gave and the lesson I had to then present online had to be recorded and turned in, praying that my video would upload properly. I felt bad always emailing the professors with my questions because I felt as if I were bugging them.

Overall, I think the one thing I have heard from many friends and peers, is that we are all ready to go back to class, in person. We agree with the teachers that have been posting about how they miss their students and classrooms. As much as we may complain about going to class and doing homework, our schools are our second homes. Our teachers and advisors create a network of trust and care, helping us on our way and forming professional relationships. The campuses, whether college or high school, are filled with memories, clubs, and friends. I miss having the freedom to go about as I pleased, eating pizza at midnight or hanging out at the Newman Center. While it was nice to be able to spend more time with our families, our second homes were dearly missed.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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