Driving home for spring break, my friend and I received an email stating classes were online for the rest of the semester. A week later, we received another email, this one telling all students not to come back to campus at all. I was not surprised — cases of coronavirus were radically increasing and the virus was the only thing anyone talked about. However, it was still a shock as the reality of what this meant sunk in.
The transition to online classes went better than expected. Yet this is not to say there were no difficulties. After one week of poor internet connection and even poorer attendance, most of my professors started to record lectures as podcasts instead of using video conferencing platforms like Zoom. Transitioning to online learning is a steep learning curve for both professors and students, but after a couple of weeks, both groups are starting to figure out what works.
I expected online classes to be easier than in-person classes. Ironically, this is not the case for all of my courses. I am finding lecture classes easier while more hands on classes, in the 200 and 300 level, are more challenging. Asking questions is not as easy and help is not as accessible. Developing a healthy routine is difficult, and I keep needing to remind myself it is not summer break. Having the motivation to complete coursework and listen to lectures is harder than expected. When debating between listening to a lecture on personal finance or finishing the last episode of a show on Netflix, I would much rather finish my show.
As a freshman at Washington State University, I looked forward to the rest of spring semester. I hoped to spend my Saturdays watching baseball games with my friends and getting late night milkshakes. I hoped to celebrate with my friends finishing our first year of college. Now none of this will happen. At least, not in person.
It is odd transitioning from college life to home life, especially since the transition happened quickly and almost without warning. I miss the freedom of college and hanging out with my friends. I also miss the campus and hiking to my classes everyday. I never realized how much I valued in-person learning until it was taken away from me. Luckily, I love spending time with my family and they are a great support system.
While the coronavirus greatly altered my plans this spring, I cannot complain too much. The virus is impacting many people far greater than me; I am fortunate. I am a student still able to learn, I am home, and I am safe. Although online learning is not my favorite, it is a sacrifice I am willing to make for the safety and health of others. Hopefully everything will return to normal soon and my sophomore year will go a little more according to plan! Go Cougs:)
A fair assessment of challenges of working at home. Virgina Wolfe said that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” Today she might add that she needs technology that saves her from technological interruptions. Good luck!
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