Remote Learning Reflection
As a student at National Louis University, a commuter school in Chicago, my college experience was simple. I would attempt to wake up by 7:30 a.m. to get to the #2 bus in Hyde Park by 8:30 a.m. to head into downtown Chicago for class. I usually would enjoy the view of my neighborhood as the bus passed along. But for the last two years, life has been different, but interesting, while attending classes remotely.
My college experience consisted of struggling to be awake and dress by 8:30 a.m., going to my kitchen to prepare my coffee and breakfast, and getting to my desk before my 9 a.m. class starts.
Going to school from home as a college student hasn’t been easy. Although the world has been in turmoil, I’ve tried to make the best out of my situation. Within two weeks, I realized I couldn’t live without my caramel-crazed iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, so I started figuring out ways to make my DIY coffee taste precisely like it. At the beginning of remote learning, I would make grits or grab a pop tart before going to my room to start class, but the same old breakfast gets tiring, So I’ve been experimenting with new omelets, French toast, breakfast pies, and much more.
Normally I would do my homework on my bed or on campus, and my desk would have miscellaneous items thrown around on it. Initially, I had my desk facing my window but quickly found that arrangement caused me to get distracted by the outside world.
Although I couldn’t see my friends in person, we’ve made the most of things by creating workspaces that are more comfortable. We all got together and decided to design our cubbies in our rooms to give ourselves a warm environment to focus. After two trips to target, my workspace consisted of an emoji pop-up art that describes my mood daily, cork boards, calendar board, and vision board.
There was also the situation of my workspace. Remote classes have been challenging; it’s been tough to block out distractions from the world and home to stay focused. It’s also been tough to see my friends struggling however I could not provide them with the support I normally would have when we were on campus. I found it harder to complete my assignments or stay motivated due to being confined to our homes.
By the end of my day, I am not only emotionally exhausted but also physically exhausted. For the majority of the day, I’m glued to a screen either in an online class or catching up on the latest breaking news. But once 6:00. p.m. rolls around, I make it my mission to get up from my desk and focus my energy on other things, like reading a new book or working on some crossword puzzles.
In the past two years, I have grown as an individual student and professional. Although remote learning has had its thorns, I’ve learned so much about myself. My university has decided to do a hybrid model for the upcoming academic year. This comes with concerns, although I’m eager to get back in the classroom and interact with my friends face to face instead of on FaceTime. There are still some concerns about what the world still holds, as the pandemic isn’t over. Now, the hybrid model is only happening on a case-by-case basis, meaning that, at any time, my university can switch back to being 100% remote.
I’ve been concerned about my well-being. Although National Louis University encourages its students to be vaccinated, it’s not mandatory to return to campus. I am fully vaccinated, some of my peers are not, and the uncertainty of entering an environment where everyone is not fully vaccinated gives me anxiety.
On the other hand, it is my senior year. Since I’ve spent nearly two years remote, I would like to be back on campus for my last year. Currently, the state of the world is up in the air, and the COVID-19 cases are still surging. No one knows what life will hold in the next six months. It’s just a waiting game to see if life will get back to normal or if the world will be shut down again.