The Upsides to Online Classes

Most universities have decided to switch to online learning this semester in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. In many ways, this situation is not ideal pedagogically: the quality of education just isn’t the same and students won’t be getting the full university experience. However, there are a few benefits to online classes which we can all look forward to this semester (besides, y’know, preventing unnecessary fatalities).

  1. 1. No More Pesky Commutes

    Backpack Commute Commuters Locomotive

    I cannot describe to you the pure euphoria I felt when I realized that I would no longer have to commute to school and back every day. I used to take the bus to school, and since I live pretty far my daily commute was 2 hours. Virtual learning for me basically means two extra hours to sleep-- and let me tell you, I cannot be more excited. I now have the freedom to jump straight into my classes as soon as I wake up-- no more waiting around in the cold for late buses, no more weird passengers by my sides, and best of all: no more fatigue. It’s advantageous for those who drive to school as well because you don’t have to spend any money on gas and an overpriced parking pass. Not to mention that it’s also more environmentally friendly!

  2. 2. More Flexibility in Your Schedule

    weekly planner on a tablet

    Out of the kindness of their hearts some professors have decided to teach their courses asynchronously this semester, which means that there isn’t a fixed class time and lectures can be viewed at the student’s own convenience. This might be more of a con for people who need a set time and place to get stuff done, but for those of us who work better when left to our own devices it’s a dream come true. I love that I’ll be able to work at my own pace and decide when I feel like “going to class.” It’s a miracle, really.

  3. 3. Less Social Anxiety

    empty classroom

    I personally find in-person classes nerve-wracking. For example, some professors make participation mandatory, which means that I have to come up with some smart comment or question on the spot during their lecture, but improvisation is just not my forte, especially when I have hundreds of eyes on me. It is written in the stars that: a) my voice will crack while I speak, and b) I will say something terribly foolish. It’s so much less intimidating to be able to type in your questions in a live chat during the lecture or have a conversation in a typed forum, where you have more time to string your thoughts into a coherent sentence and have a better chance of not saying something stupid. Essentially, all socially anxious individuals, such as myself, are rejoicing at the prospect of online learning.

I wish you all a mediocre to good semester considering the circumstances. May you learn a ton, procrastinate very little, and avoid unwittingly leaving your mic on in a Zoom meeting.