The sound of our dogs barking, the construction noise from one of our neighbor’s houses, the music from the karaoke machine coming from next door, and the voices of our parents calling us to finish our household chores: ah, yes. The sounds of online classes.
We all have our own struggles amidst this pandemic that we all wish to be over soon, but one struggle that all students currently share is the nightmare of online classes.
It’s a common misconception that online classes are much easier than face-to-face classes, mostly because we are at the comfort of our own homes, and that we hold our schedules on the palms of our hands, however, it really isn’t that simple. Internet speed fluctuates (both the students’ and the professors’), computers lag, heartbroken neighbors sing Taylor Swift’s “the 1” all day on their karaoke machines, and if you were anything like me, the struggle of having a short attention span simply makes matters worse. Not forgetting the struggles of students who cannot afford a WiFi set up 24/7 in their homes, paying for pre-paid data on their mobile phones is a pain that a lot of students (and parents) are currently going through.
Back when things were normal, and classes were held in proper classrooms, we all had the motivation to attend class for several reasons: escaping family drama, receiving our daily allowances, but one reason I think we can all agree on is being able to unwind with our friends when that school bell rings. Grabbing lunch together in-between classes, walking together to the nearest National Bookstore branch to buy the materials for our next class (that we forgot to buy days ago), texting our friends “One bott?” for a quick nightcap after school hours, or even so much as going home to our dorms at the end of the day, and being tired together with our roommates. Even though classes were difficult, our friends made the difficulty worth it. They were the ones we turned to at the end of each day, whether it be to do school work together, or to just grab a bite before going home. Personally, the thing I miss most about the pre-pandemic student life is the guilt-free (and not to mention, rewarding) hangouts on Friday nights.
Now that our classes are done in our own homes over the Internet, there isn’t much to look forward to after attending classes and finishing all our homework, other than returning to our beds and switching our tabs from our student email account to our Netflix account. Personally, as a graduating student who is most likely going to attend her graduation ceremony online, I’m sure we can all agree that our hearts go out to the seniors who never got the senior year they deserved; graduation parties, senior-send-off rituals, senior retreats; despite all still being held online, we all know it’s not the same.
We mustn’t forget, however, to push through. As one student body sharing one common struggle, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all in this together. Need the notes I took down when your computer started to lag? Hit me up.