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National Online Learning Day: My Reflection as My Senior Year of College Zooms By

As I begin my senior year, I reflect on all the people who told me that college would fly by. 

And they were right. 

But you know what word is similar to fly and describes how my senior year will be remembered in history?



September 15 is regarded as National Online Learning Day, and I thought the holiday was apropos to write about as I journey toward a digital degree. For this week, I wanted to write a ~somewhat~ corny article about the features in Zoom, my personal experiences and how I see those applying to my life on a larger scale.

  • Fidgeting: I have always been a bit of a squirmy worm when it comes to life. I think a lot of it comes from my need to always feel productive, and it’s easiest to be productive when you’re up-and-at-’em! Over the years, in a school setting, I’ve gotten better at controlling my minor shifts in my seat so I can stay lasered into what a professor is saying. It helps when I have the energy of my peers around me to stay centered. But on Zoom, I don’t have that luxury. In fact, I find myself often distracted by what others are doing in the restless, 3x4 inch boxes. However, I think this online behavior will be indicative of how I harness my restless energy and my ability to leave my mark on the world.
  • Group Collaboration: Sure, it can be challenging to work in groups on occasion, especially if people don’t pull their weight. Although, knowing my peers are going through the same thing is comforting since we’ll be stronger because of it, even when life divides us after graduation into our separate life paths. 
  • Technical Difficulties: With every new advancement in technology comes the annoying little bugs that need to be swatted away to ultimately have success. I definitely do not consider myself a tech wiz, but being adaptable to the changing times and the technology that accompanies it will make me more equipped to handle challenges with patience in the long run. 
  • Connectivity: This one feels two-fold to me because Zoom allows us to connect virtually, but we’re also connecting on a more human level. I think it’s been amazing that even though we’ve been plucked from our typical routines, we haven’t lost the ability to have fun and foster relationships with others, even if the bonds cannot be strengthened in-person. Connectivity in this current climate is so important.
  • A Moment in Time: Going back to the group collaboration point, college students are all in this together. Although, this really pertains to my seniors in a bigger sense. It’s terrifying to be in our last year of college, preparing to enter a job force in a world that cannot predict the changes to occur in a few months, let alone a few minutes. Having changes in our course delivery even displays a bright future for us: a future where someday, this year will no longer feel like a setback...when we’re able to take a step back and see just how incredible it was that we made it. Just because our final year won’t play out as we all imagined doesn’t mean we shouldn’t imagine all the greatness we have yet to achieve. 

So to all my seniors, in the wise, wise words of Troy Bolton and the gang from High School Musical, “we’re soaring, flying.” But most importantly, we’re zooming into the rest of our lives. 

My name is Hannah Hippensteel, and I like to say I'm a Chicago city-slicker, but I'm actually from the 'burbs. I'm currently a senior at Winona State with a major in mass communication-journalism and a minor in sociology. Catch me enjoying all Winona has to offer: the bluffs, the incomparable Bloedow's Bakery, and not to mention, Minnesota boys. With a goal of working at Teen Vogue, Seventeen or Glamour magazine, I'm soaking up every opportunity to keep my finger on the pulse and share my personal voice!
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