Time sure does fly. As the end of April is near, we are approaching a count of six weeks of virtual school. Since Spring Break, which officially started March 9, 2020, we have been living a bit differently. Few things have been more affected than our educational systems. The world retracted its physical presence in favor of existing in a digital sense, and this situation will forever shape the state of online learning.
Establishing your own pace for online classes is the key to productivity. Despite the world transcending into chaos, one would think educators would feel a reduced urgency to deliver content. This does not seem to be the case. I have received a greater amount of sheer work and assignments since the start of virtual school than ever before.
All my classes have experienced an uptick in workload and expectations, which has been quite difficult to keep up with. Since there is no face-to-face interaction or constant stimulation that comes with being in a physical learning environment, it has been difficult to stay on track. Deadlines seem more like suggestions and assignments seem optional. This mentality has led to some days when I don’t touch my laptop, other days when I spend all day locked up in my room staring at an assignment on my computer screen. These cramming days have not been sufficient to cover all the content.
Though I do care about education, I have been absent and uninvolved in school, despite my best efforts. I cannot seem to keep pace with my professors and have been drowning in late assignments and unfinished work. It seems impossible to muster up enough time and energy to commit fully to school when so much of the world around us has ceased to exist in normalcy.
For example, even though I wake up normally around 7:30 a.m., I have yet to attend an 8 a.m. online lecture. Ironically, it is easier for me to drag myself out of bed and to campus. At home, I find it difficult to get logged in, both on my computer and my brain. There are so many distractions that make it difficult to focus on school.
I require physical interaction, not only to learn the material but to prioritize my actions throughout the day. I feel disconnected and out of touch with my education, because it only exists in the realm of fillers, like social media and entertainment. Group projects have been the one thing remaining tangible. Staying in contact with my team members creates a sense of real responsibility. It sets a clear goal that I need to achieve, or the group as a whole will face the consequences.
Though I personally struggle with this shift to online education, others have flourished. Online education delivers a sense of freedom, and it has helped many regain a sense of control over their future. Some operate well on their own and thrive with this newly granted autonomy. Some feel more productive and comfortable than ever before.
This arrangement is something new for everyone, and there will be lots to learn from as we see online learning become more prevalent as time goes on. From confusion to liberty, “Zoom University” has not only been teaching us educational material but about how we operate ourselves. With a couple more weeks until the end of the semester, I hope we have fine-tuned ourselves to this situation to the best of our ability. Good luck to you all!