Online learning: ups and downs

Since the beginning of COVID-19, many lives have been disrupted. Our generation has been missing out on treasured memories like in-person school or college life, and many teenagers are going through the fear of missing out. Regardless of the drawbacks it brought, for once, the entire population has come together to fight against “one” virus. There’s a popular saying that goes: “there are always two sides to a story”; these past couple of years haven’t been an exception. Adapting to change from physical classes to online classrooms hasn’t been easy. While many focused on the pessimistic side of the situation, there were quiet exceptional positive changes that should be noticed too.

 Online Learning is self-paced, it allows students to learn from any location, and each student has a distinctive learning journey and a distinctive learning fashion. Each student learns differently. Essentially, some students flourish within the classroom, and others are solo learners who tend to be occupied by huge groups. The online learning framework, with its run of choices and assets, can be personalised in many ways.  In some aspects, the distance is more noteworthy between you and your educator as you’re not sitting in class with them routinely.  But in an online environment, doubts and questions can be asked much easily. In a physical classroom, after you inquire about a question in the lesson, the teacher should consider other questions that have to be answered, the time it’ll take to reply to the address, and whether they indeed need to reply to the question at all. During the pandemic, we could only reach the teachers through online platforms. This can be continued even after the pandemic because when they reply, they can take as much time as they need to provide us with a detailed response. They aren’t too stressed about answering to the other students like they would have if it were a physical classroom. So in this way, students can easily grab their teacher’s attention.

With online classes, it’s much simpler to focus on what you’re doing. You should put yourself in the right environment. If things get too loud, students can always wear earphones. We tend to meander off subject when we are too tired completing tasks and revising. As mentioned earlier, online learning brings the benefit of time flexibility. You’ll be able to select and work at a time when you feel most motivated. Despite all the positives, the sudden change in school becoming online has brought high levels of stress and anxiety to students all over the world.

Walden University (Walden) gives some great advice to its students, and I’m going to modify that for us. A few ways students can cope with stress caused by online learning are:  

  1. Being social-  Since 2 years, us students haven’t been on campus, this has limited our social interactions.Even if  we are connected through online school, It cannot be compared to the socialisation we used to have in a physical classroom. Staying in touch with our friends and family with just one phone call or a text can help relieve any anxiety we have. This allows us to catch up with people and  Moreover, this way distance wouldn’t affect or harm our connections with people we care about. 
  2. Being organised- Studying from home and studying at school is a huge environmental shift. At home we are much prone to distractions when compared to the environment at school. Simple habits like having a constant work space; keeping your desk clean and setting reminders about the tasks we have to complete and the topics we have to revise can help reduce stress levels.
  3. Exercise – Since the pandemic started, everyone has been bound to their homes.With hours of online lectures and  inaccessible gymnasiums & playgrounds [during lockdown], Our lifestyle has become very sedentary compared to the physical activity we were used to in an offline school environment. Exercising daily just for one hour too helps relieve stress, improves our mental health & mood and benefits our physical  health. It is found that regular physical activity helps improve memory and concentration (Better). 
  4. Eat well- A healthy diet and following a meal time chart promotes stress reduction. Since everyone is at home, for some people, the access to unhealthy foods has increased. Adding to which, since we are stuck at home, a few people aren’t used to the routine meal time table. This has increased mid-night snacking and our junk food intake. In some cases many forget about having meals entirely when they are too occupied with work or completing tasks. Such habits are inimical to health.

These are a few ways students can benefit from online learning and cope with the stress caused by it. Hopefully, not for much longer!

 Works Cited:

“How to Choose a Reputable University.” Walden University, https://www.waldenu.edu/programs/resource/how-to-choose-a-reputable-university. 

“Better, the Feel Good Place.” Better, http://www.better.org.uk/exercise-benefits-students-new. 

Deeya is a staff reporter.

Edited by Ira.

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