Ever since schools switched to distanced learning during mid-March of this year, students of all grade levels have had various school experiences.
Schools were only supposed to be closed for two weeks starting on March 17th, but the circumstances changed due to the increase in COVID cases. Students were not expecting this to go on for so long. Online learning is such a strange experience compared to the in-person classes that students are so used to. Students have had different experiences, both negative and positives, during online learning.
For instance, my experience with online learning has not been the greatest. It has been far more difficult for me to do school work online since I have all these other responsibilities. Not only do I have to turn in all my assignments on time, but I also have to make sure to clean, cook, and watch my three younger siblings while my mother works a full-time job.
Home isn´t the best environment for learning; there are way too many distractions. For example, whenever I am in class, my siblings decide to yell or pick fights with each other, which throws me off from what I am learning. All these things put a great amount of stress on me, which results in me wanting to give up at times. My mental health hasn´t been the best since all of this started, which I am pretty sure happened with several students as well. It is extremely difficult to keep a positive attitude when dealing with these changes.
I took the initiative of interviewing students from different grade levels on their experiences with virtual learning.
As I mentioned before, it is not easy to finish all your school work and complete all the responsibilities that are put on us at home. Some of us have more responsibilities than others, whether it be helping around the house, babysitting, or working.
“Before, professors would give us real-life experiences and information we could use in the field. Now, they give us textbook assignments that don’t prepare us. Sometimes, they give work without explaining it. The workload they are assigning is causing so much stress. They don’t take into consideration that we have other classes as well. Before COVID-19, social work interns would be able to have face-to-face meetings with clients, but now everything is virtual, so we don’t get the same experiences,” said Jasmine Melchor, a fourth-year college student.
For some students, learning online has not been as effective due to the lack of hands-on learning. When we are in class, we can get better explanations and examples of the topics we are learning, but when it comes to online school, a lot of the work has been textbook work that does not provide any real preparation.
“Online school has affected me positively because I was able to spend less time with other people and learn more about myself as a person. However, education-wise, the work has become more stressful on me because I don’t feel the immediate need to do it and it piles up bringing me more stress,” said Angel Beltran, 8th grader.
Even though there are some difficulties with learning at home, online learning has given some students the time and opportunities to better themselves. For example, it gives students more time to relax and give themselves time alone, which many of us need sometimes. I have realized that during these past months, several people have finally gotten the opportunities to take on new hobbies like painting or sports. They have figured out more about the different activities they enjoy since they have more time at home.
I know virtual learning hasn´t been the best or easiest, but I would much rather learn on the computer from nine to two instead of going to in-person school where I would be putting myself and everyone else at risk. We have to make the best of the current circumstances and try to help one another get through the school year.
By Ashley Farias, Editor-in-Chief
(Photo Source: poorvuventer.yale.edu)