I started my fall, sophomore semester in 2018, and I was nervous! I had enrolled in two online courses and this would be my first experience with them at Florida State. I never enjoyed the experience with taking college courses online in high school, just because it lacks that one-on-one experience. Fast-forward to the end of the semester, and I felt like I potentially found a better way of learning. I had an overall positive experience, so when it came time to enroll in spring, I opted to take a majority of online courses. Eventually, this led to me taking ALL online courses in the fall of 2019.
The first couple weeks of fall semester was a dream. I was able to sleep in as my roommates were struggling to make their 8 & 9 a.m. classes. I wore loungewear all day and was able to work in the comfort of my own apartment. Watching episodes of The Office in between lecture videos while eating hummus was a daily routine. Learning at my own pace was something that worked for me. However, as the semester started to pick up, the course load did the same. I also began getting involved in other activities that started taking a large part of my time. I had to worry about all this while working a part-time job as well. Eventually, my routine became diluted, as I was forgetting deadlines and rushing on assignments that required time. I also noticed that I spent significantly more money on textbooks and other related programs with my online courses. Mid-semester, I was also made aware that taking courses online was massively more expensive than the in-person classes, which felt kind of backwards to me. I was confused by this since I was practically teaching myself for some of the classes I was taking. I saw another student have a similar complaint online and was relieved that I wasn’t the only one who thought this way. Taking all online courses also affected me in a way I never saw coming.
Mid fall semester, I began to feel lonely. The only times I had any social interactions were with my roommates when we found time in our busy schedules, or when I saw my SO later in the afternoon and night. I also noticed that I enjoyed going to work more than I previously had because this was another way for me to socialize. I have always been a very social person, and my progress reports in elementary school tended to have teachers noting that I sometimes talked too much. So, being isolated for a whole semester was a huge shift for me and began to affect my overall happiness. Quickly, I began developing FOMO. I was now missing out on the typical college campus experiences that I dreamed of in high school. I never had an excuse to go on campus unless it was for a club meeting held at night where the school can resemble a ghost town sometimes. I missed being out absorbing the sun while I admired Landis Green between classes. At that point, I just wanted fall semester to end as quickly as possible. It finally came time to enroll for spring and I promptly chose all in-person classes.
Courtesy: Vanessa Valles
Being a few weeks into the spring semester, I have noticed a drastic change in my overall mood as I started readjusting to taking in-person classes. I find myself starting to enjoy waking up early as opposed to sleeping in. I find that I am most productive when I get an early start to my day. I ensure to interact in class and luckily have courses with small class sizes, allowing me to have the one-on-one learning with my professors when I need it. I take in the fresh air and always think about how lucky I am to go to such a beautiful school; I mean you just can’t beat the Landis view in between classes. Although it has not been a fully smooth transition, I am thankful for my new schedule. In the future, I might opt to take an online course here and there, but for right now I am perfectly happy writing this while taking in the views of Landis.