By now, the school year has been rolling on for a little over a month (depending on where you live). Many people like myself have experienced the joy of attending Zoom University. And if you're one of the few who has yet to know what it's like to do school-from-home, all I can say is: it's not as bad as you think. I've seen how social media has highlighted virtual schooln negatively, but I'm a firm believer that your attitude determines your experience.
Consider Why We Even Have To Go Virtual In The First Place.
You would have to be living under a rock in order to not realize how bad COVID-19 has affected everyone's lives. Some lost family members and others had to cancel important events. With that being said, schools are just doing their best to maintain everyone's safety during these trying times. Many guidelines may not seem ideal to you, but understand that it's our responsibility to take care of one another. Please wear your mask, even if it's not required.
Online learning has advantages.
Trust me, this is coming from a person who did poorly in asynchronous classes during the last few months of her senior year. Attending classes online has its advantages. I'm usually a slow writer so I understand it gets difficult to take notes and pay attention to the lecturer. Virtual school has helped me. While they are giving the lecture, you can take a screenshot of the slides you probably missed. These presentation pictures could even be helpful to use as reference for when you are studying. If you still find yourself struggling, you can ask your professor to slow down without even unmuting yourself. Just send them or the teacher-assistant a private message and they'll listen! Many professors also allow you to take your quizzes at whatever time you are ready as long as it's turned in by the end of the week. That means you can set apart study time right before you take the quiz so it's fresh in your mind. You can gain the confidence to engage in class discussions by either unmuting or responding in the chat.
Bad hair day? We won't judge.
Think about it, on regular weekdays you would have to wake up early to get dressed, and put your makeup on for school. Now you just have to log in a few minutes before the meeting starts and you're good to go! You've woken up 10 minutes ago, but you're already set for class now. It's takes minimal effort. Don't tell anyone I said it but, in case you still end up running late to your zoom meeting, there's never been a greater time to pull off the "my audio/internet connection isn't working" excuse. Another thing, if you're the shy type who always feels like you know the answer, but you can't muster-up the courage to say it aloud, just put it in the chat! That won't get in the way of earning participation points. However, I encourage you to turn on your mic to answer questions because sometimes the professor just wants to make sure you're paying attention. Regardless of whether your answer is right or wrong, they'll notice and appreciate the fact that you spoke up.
Here are some tips because I know it's hard!
Of course, some of the things I mentioned above require you to take initiative. Isn't it best to learn to sooner rather than late, anywayr? If you happen to be taking an asynchronous class and you usually struggle to teach yourself the material, talk to your professor. Make sure you are learning all of the information you need to pass the class. I've learned that simply meeting one-on-one with your professor virtually once or twice makes the overall class seem less intimidating. Plus, I was given more opportunities to boost my grade! Who doesn't want that?
Stuck on a math problem? Join a study group! If there isn't one, chances are that someone else needs it but they're too afraid to start it. That's your cue! If available, I 100% recommend signing up for a University Transition course so you can adjust to the college life with the right tools. If everything you've tried doesn't seem to be working, visit your advisor. They'd be happy to answer any questions you may have or guide you to the right student services.
You Can Fill Up Your Schedule And You'll Never Be Bored!
Because of the pandemic, many businesses and organizations have switched to operating remotely. Virtual classes have allowed me to open myself up to other opportunities like volunteering from home or joining virtual events. Since all your work can be done right at your personal computer, it's easy. It's not too late to add a little more to your plate.
The Funnier Side Of Things
This shared experience has actually given us funny stories to tell. It's been quite popular on Instagram for students to prank their instructor or film the occasional slip up. Something similar happened to one of my family members. At a socially distanced family gathering, my aunt Lucy, a stay-at-home mom, told us about how she forgot that her second-grader was sitting at the table on a Zoom call. She yelled at her daughter to stop being dumb and pick up her toys.The teacher asked her child to mute his mic and she was super embarrassed!
Mine wasn't as bad. My instructor had difficulty connecting her audio after sharing her screen so after moving around some settings, she gave up and decided to make a student the host before leaving her own meeting. We were all really confused.
Someone broke the ice joking that class was over then another classmate said, "Aww, look at your abuela bringing you coffee!"I live with both of my grandmas, so I immediately turned around. She handed me my cup of coffee and waved at everyone on my screen. Honestly, it was so cute and heart-warming, and I'm not just saying that because she's my grandmother.
When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade
Life isn't the same as it as used to be. It's best to stay positive about the whole situation and be conscious of others. I hope you can all still find a way to make the best of your college experience and stay in touch with your friends and family, even if it's through a screen.