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Mental Health

Why I Feel Like I Am Learning Less This Semester

I was scrolling through social media one day and came across an ad with a sweatshirt that said “Zoom University” on it. It made me laugh. I started thinking about my past two years as a college student and how I took the resources I was given back then totally for granted. The thing is, I need to be in class. I need to have my professor in front of me explaining material, writing out examples and answering questions. The point of going to school is to learn from your superiors in order to succeed in your career. And yet this semester is one big struggle. Covid-19 threw the entire world for a spin and universities took a pretty hard hit. But as a student it is even worse. On top of restricted campus activities and less ability to get out of your room, lectures have turned into more of a dreaded experience than they ever have been. I tend to enjoy lectures since I can ask questions and give my opinion in real time. It is unfortunate however, that many classes across campus now use prerecorded lectures. You are expected to understand all material through these and reading the book. And by the way, we’ll have a 50-point quiz at the end of every week to test your knowledge on something you have to teach yourself. I ask my friends how they feel about their classes. The consensus? Most feel that they are learning less, are more stressed and have more work with less time to complete it all. But if we aren’t wasting time walking to and from class, how does that make sense?

Students right now are struggling to keep up with their work. On top of homework, group projects and exams, they are expected to teach the material needed to themselves. I agree with this feeling because I was expecting most of my classes to still be in person. Yet, I only physically attend a few days a week. The rest of the time, I am in charge of how I learn. With motivation low, getting work done is basically the last thing a student wants to do right now. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better to take this semester off or continue to work until life finally went back to semi-normal. But since I can’t go back on that decision, let me offer some advice.

Things we as students need to remember to do to take care of ourselves:

  1. EAT! Please eat. Repeat after me: iced coffee is not a meal.
  2. Drink your water!! It’s so important.
  3. Call your mom, dad, siblings, best friend and people you care the most about.
  4. Get moving. Aim for 10k steps a day.
  5. SLEEP! I can’t even begin to explain how important this is. You will perform better with more sleep, it’s scientifically proven!
  6. Take some time to relax. Watch a movie, do a face mask, spend some non-studying time with a friend (with masks of course). Human connection is so important to our mental wellbeing.

Just remember that so many students feel this way. This semester will definitely be one to remember.

Good luck.

Leslie is a current senior at Purdue University looking to major in industrial management engineering. She discovered Her Campus through her sisters, who had been apart of it when they were in college. She enjoys dancing, singing, cooking and traveling.
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