New beginnings…on zoom?

Covid-19 has taken us all by surprise, and left the entire world at a standstill. I remember the day when I walked out of my school in Miami, FL for the last time as a sophomore. Little did I know that life for me would change drastically in two ways. I would become a junior at another school in a different continent, and my classes would remain online.

Distance learning has been like a race. Starting out at a fast pace but also trying to retain stamina until you cross the finish line. As a new student, it was tough to come to terms with online learning at a school where the unique experience comes from being at the school.

However, getting to meet new people was a good compensation for that. It has also been rewarding to learn at a different pace than the usual rush in school. Adapting to this new life during a global pandemic was definitely an experience.

However, with strides of happiness also comes bouts of falling down. Being in a different country and time zone altogether has affected me in as many good ways as trying ones. Instead of doing schoolwork during the day like most people, I have to spend my nights on Zoom. Staying up later than I usually would to attend classes was something I was not prepared for. During the first few weeks, I found it difficult to stay awake and keep up with the amount of work we were receiving. 

Ironically, however, doing schoolwork at night has been a blessing in many ways. The new atmosphere has given me a chance to appreciate the silence that I could never find during the day, a small nuance of life that seems to be forgotten in the bustling lives we live. 

Even though I wish to meet all my classmates and teachers, take part in PASSAGE and other activities, I know that online school is the “normal” for now. Day by day, learning online is getting easier with the help of all the coordinators, teachers, and other people by my side who are willing to help.

One thing I know for sure is that the experiences that are made while many of us are spread out across the world, are the ones we will never forget. If Covid-19 has brought one positive thing to among its many negatives, it would be the opportunity to reevaluate the things that are most important to us – To give the way we look at life another chance.

This global pandemic has taken away our daily encounters with friends and family, with teachers and neighbors, and much of our social life. Yet, instead, it has provided us with a sense of creating a community. A community online. Communication tools like WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Zoom have all become a pivotal part of each day we live today.

We are constantly going to be evolving. Each of us is given a circumstance that we must face, and for me, it was evolving being a new student online during a pandemic. 

The hardships will only make me come out of this situation stronger. I can proudly say that not giving up during the trying times of being thousands of miles away from school has awarded me small victories along the way.

“If you can’t change it, change your attitude”, Maya Angelou, American poet and civil rights activist, famously said. I could not change the inevitability of studying online, but I could change how I approached it; and I did.  

Rhea Kassam is a Staff reporter.

Edited by Riya Gupta

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