About two weeks ago, I was a stressed out college student, desperately anticipating spring break. I was just about done when we got the message- everything is shutting down effective Thursday, March 12th; we'd have class online until at least April 3rd. At the time, all that meant to me was that we would be getting an early spring break- but then things escalated. A few days later another big switch; we'll be remotely learning for the rest of the semester.
My first feelings were ones of disappointment, then slight panic. Home for me represents the day being done, sitting down to eat a meal, shower, watch Netflix/Hulu/Youtube and sleep. But I would have to adjust, as does everyone that this change affected. Professors with plans for a normal spring semester now suddenly have to rethink everything- from how to make it the most accessible to the students to if there should be new ways of grading our performance? Some even give more work, assuming that convenience of a home classroom only means that we have all the time in the world to do even more work. No matter how the professor handles it, it is difficult. For a busy body, that could be difficult. It is also difficult if you don't have the resources and means to access school work online.Others have personal family/domestic issues that makes it hard to concentrate and thus school is a place of refuge for them. Those who wanted that in classroom experience, who benefit more from a hands-on approach now have to transition to something that can be a lot harder to manage, despite the convenience. I for one, love getting out of the house and hate being sedentary. I spent one day completely indoors (without even stepping out for fresh air) since this new way of life began and literally made myself sick with anxiety (headache and all). It definitely has been an adjustment and it still is.
Now that classes have started up again, and the switch to remote learning is teaching me a few things. I had to say goodbye to what makes me comfortable and get "uncomfortable" in my place. That could mean I'd do my work at an actual table, headphones in, tea made, checking my phone only for emergencies and anything I can't do on my laptop. The environment in which someone does work in their home is essential to either speeding up or lowering their productivity and sitting at a desk or table is best since it emulates a similar setting as a classroom. And there is good that coming out of this rather dystopian time we're living in; For example, students have access to adobe premiere for free via our academic institution- and if you're a video major or editor or just hobbyist like me,you'd know that this is a pretty sweet deal. Also many internet service providers are giving lower income houses free access to the internet for the next 90 days (some schools provide the link as well for those who don't have service in general). And those who have trouble accessing meals without the aid of school, are having their meals delivered to them, and some places designated for grab-and -go meals (practice social distancing folks)!
So yes, there is a push to make remote learning a bit easier for those who can't concentrate, or are more tactile learners or who just can't access the resources they need to work online. Class of 2020, I'm sorry your end wasn't the cinematic bittersweet ending you probably wanted. But this does not diminish the years you spend trying to accomplish this goal- you still have a degree at the end of the day, and hopefully once things slowly get back to normal, there's a better chance of being hired since the job market would have openings everywhere. As for the rest of the spring semester it's different to say the least. You may wanna sleep in , be in pjs all day and not even go online- but stay strong, try to stay focused and make this the best remote semester possible- you'll have stories to tell in the future for sure.
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