This COVID-19 pandemic has many changes, both good and bad, however the biggest organizations that are taking the hit, are schools, colleges, and universities across the globe. In spring 2020, many schools opted to resume classes in the safest way possible, and luckily Zoom was there to save the day. For those that might not be in school anymore or simply taking a break, Zoom is an online platform where groups of people can meet, share each other's screens to view information in real time, breakout into smaller groups, or simply hang out. At first, I was ecstatic when my university chose to move online in the spring. I was already burnt out at both ends and desperately needed a break. But now that we're doing it all over again, I must say, the honeymoon phase is definitely over between me and Zoom.
I Love The Convenience
I love how I can roll straight out of bed five minutes before class and hop on. It definitely saves me time getting ready and allows me to get more of that much needed sleep. I love how I can mute myself when I don't have anything to say, and hide my face when I don't feel like revealing myself. Plus I can wear pajamas all day!
I Hate The Discussions
Majority of my classes are discussion-based courses and it's quite hard to have meaningful conversations over an online format. You never know who's going to speak next, and are oftentimes met with awkwardness when you and another classmate unmute at the same time. The lack of body language before a person speaks is one thing I can't get from Zoom.
I Love the Range of Classes
Now this isn't the first time I am experiencing an online class format. I have taken many online classes before the pandemic. I love them! Many allow you to work at your own pace and understand the material better. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of classes that can be moved online. It goes to show that anything is possible with the right tools.
I Hate Cancelling My Necessary In-Person Classes
However, not all classes are meant to be taught over video conferencing. I hate trying to learn choreography for my dance and color guard classes. As a dancer, it is very difficult to learn a whole show over a 9 by 11 screen. Performing arts classes and sports took a big hit with COVID-19, and the transition to online classes has been hard. Many people have to find space to dance at home, and there's something about dancing in your house versus in a studio with classmates that makes you feel even more lonely.
I Love The New Format of Tests
I do love having all my assessments be open book! Saves me the stress of staying up all night studying my butt off. I also love writing essays as opposed to taking tests, so when many of my teachers opted to do final papers, I was ecstatic!
I Hate Having More Work
Yet, I feel like because classes moved online, it gives teachers an excuse to pump out more homework. I have to watch recorded lectures for one class, post discussion comments for another, and read over 100 pages a night for my English class. It's an insane amount of work for one student to accomplish when we have other extracurriculars and work to focus on as well.
I Love the Fun Backgrounds
Zoom does provide some fun though. I love seeing my classmates' different backgrounds when we have class. I, personally, am a fan of the Disney castle and The Office backgrounds. It's nice to look at and laugh about when you want a small mini break from the stress of classes.
I Hate the Lags and Errors
But OH MY GOD, people please check your internet! I can't take anymore of the static voices, frozen scenes and people getting kicked out of classes, causing more disruption. It's especially the worst when it's presentation day and your sound is lagging 10 seconds behind and you finish before the sound catches up.
I Love How Zoom Connects the World
Lastly, I love how I now have a better platform to converse and connect with friends and family with. My teammates and I are able to have bonding nights and play games at the safety of our own homes. It's also easier to see everyone for family holidays when the pandemic doesn't allow us to celebrate together. Zoom helped the world stay together and overall gave education a chance to still thrive without any students forced to take a pause on life. I know graduating via Zoom might not be the best thing, but hey at least it's better than nothing!