How I’ve Been Dealing With Remote Learning

I’ve been keeping count. At the time I’m writing this, it’s officially been 40 days since I’ve come back home from college and just around a month since I’ve been deigned to finish the rest of my freshman year online. Here are some of the problems I’ve run into and some potential solutions to them.

The Problem: A less-than-ideal workspace.

The overwhelming thought I’ve had while trying to finish the semester has been, “Holy crap, how did I get anything done here while in high school?” My desk chair is creaky and uncomfortable, my desk itself too narrow and cramped to spread study materials out on. My parents—bless their hearts—have a habit coming to my room multiple times a day, oftentimes interrupting meetings. I’ve also realized that over the past few months I’ve tricked myself into only being able to truly study late at night and in one of the Landis Hall study rooms. So, it’s not been my most productive month.

The Solution: Work with what you have.

There’s a lot about this whole thing that’s simply just out of my hands, so I’ve learned that sometimes the only thing you can do is just suck it up. Like I mentioned before, I’ve gotten used to being able to study at night. So that’s what I do, even at home, just to keep some part of my old routine. The bonus part of doing so is that both of my parents are early to bed most nights, so there are fewer interruptions. Overall, I try my best to get rid of distractions. I’ll play music on headphones to drown out excess noise and throw my phone on Do Not Disturb. It’s not Landis, but some days it’s all I can do.

The Problem: Disengagement with online classes.

Person using their laptop

It goes like this: I log onto Zoom, I cut my microphone and my video, and I zone out for the entirety of my professor’s lecture. Sometimes, I just don’t go at all. I’ll be frank—it sucks. There are classes that I absolutely loved going to while on campus, but now even those classes have just become something I have to do rather than something I want to do. It’s done quite a number on my ability to retain information, which is especially worrying going into finals.

The Solution: A work in progress?

This has always been an issue for me with online classes. It’s allowed me to really think about how much I appreciate being able to attend traditional classes, so I’ve been trying to keep that in mind for the future whenever I want to sleep through a lecture. There’s a privilege in having an in-person class to skip! In the meantime, I’ve found that being able to Zoom or FaceTime with friends while working on classwork has made a big difference in motivating me to get my work done. Reminding myself of what I’m most thankful for in being able to attend an institution I love so much also takes my mind off the negative, allowing me space to get excited for whenever we get to go back.

The Problem: The monotony of quarantine.

Staying home for the health of the country, while an important task, has dutifully taken away all the best parts about college. Oh, to be able to walk two floors up to my friend’s room to ransack her closet before a party. Oh, to be able to go to a meeting with 32 of my favorite people after a long and hard day of classes. Now, I can walk all the way from my bedroom to the living room after class. If I’m feeling particularly adventurous, I can even go outside to the backyard. The possibilities are endless.

In all seriousness, it’s been difficult. Without all my friends on campus with me, or without physically being able to set aside school and attend to my involvements, the days just become long, long days of work and work only, and my brain gets so fried that I end up turning assignments I’m not even proud of.

The Solution: Find quarantine-friendly activities.

While it’s not as good as in-person hangouts, breaking up the day with other activities while still abiding by social distancing helps give you the space in your brain to refocus on your work. When I wake up, I’ll spend a couple of hours on school before setting it aside to work out for a bit. The time away from my laptop ends up being a great refresher, and afterwards I’m ready to get back online for everything else I have to do. Remote learning is not an ideal situation, but sometimes you just have to play the cards you’re dealt.

Want to see more HCFSU? Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest!