Virtual learning: what’s hot and what’s not

by Melissa Paz-Flores | October 5, 2020

Art by Medha Mahanta (’24)

Long gone are the days when we would wake up at 6 A.M., roll out of bed, rush to get ready for school, and leave the house before 7:30. Now, we can wake up on our own time, eat at our own convenience, and have a bit more freedom to focus on other passions or hobbies. Wanting to hear more perspectives, I reached out to a couple of Lancers to hear their take on the virtual learning situation.

I asked these students, “How do you feel about online school right now? Are you liking or disliking the new format?”

Sophomore Esther (Da Hee) Yang (EY) said, “Although online learning still feels odd, I am slowly getting used to having fixed plans for the day and liking the new format; it is helping me not only wake up early but also utilize my time effectively.”

However, there were others who were not feeling enthusiastic about virtual learning. “I’m not crazy about online school. Each day feels very similar and monotone. The new format isn’t exactly what I’d expected. Summative grades counting for everything is definitely a stressor,” said Junior Eliana Shin (ES).

Senior Cheska Odulio (CO) added, “To be honest, it’s a lot of work, especially for senior year. Seniors have a lot on their plates right now as they have to juggle school, college apps, and their social life and finding motivation is hard when you’re stuck at your house all day.”

Frankly, I agree. Online school is rough. It was a lot to take in overnight, and at times, it seems that teachers are increasing our workload because we’re at home.

When asked about the pros of virtual learning, students replied:

EY: “Remote learning has helped me balance out my work for classes and social/free time. I can also easily reach out for assistance since teachers are available for active communications.”

ES: “I don’t live too close to Saint Francis, so cutting out the commute was definitely a plus.”

CO: “I get to work on things on my own time and don’t have to worry about the commute anymore.”

When considering the cons, the students remarked:

EY: “It is hard to expand my social boundaries via Zoom. My goals for the new school year always include making new friends, however, under this quarantined circumstance, it is hard to build social connections outside of class.”

ES: “I’m in the house with my entire family for the entire day! All of us are also on Zoom calls, and you can imagine what that did to our wifi. We got an upgrade for this new semester!”

CO: “I tend to procrastinate way more, which gets stressful. Zoom breakout rooms are also awkward, and even if you have classes with friends you might not be able to talk to them at all.”

I definitely see where everyone is coming from. Sometimes I experience cabin fever from being stuck inside for too long and feel overwhelmed by all the work I receive.

Nonetheless, I am going to wrap this up on a positive note by sharing simple ways you can manage your stress. Firstly, it is completely understandable to have “off” days. Be proud of how far you’ve come along since March. Next, take breaks. No, not those “I worked for five minutes so it’s time to take a break” type of breaks; they only hinder progress. Allow me to share a method that has been working for me since August: the Pomodoro timer. Essentially, you work non-stop for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break. After completing that four times, you are allowed to take a 20-minute break. In my experience, following these two tips will relieve a considerable amount of stress.

Categories: Opinions

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