Technically I am learning, right? Being a virtual student should fit the same criteria as going into school every day at eight in the morning. Waking up early should feel the same as a tired morning with a heavy backpack forcing me to feel like a geezer. From the perspective of a student who spends her time behind a screen more than in the same room as students, it is abnormal like the details in biology and difficult like an advanced math class. Why is it so difficult? A good question with an abundance of answers if you ask me.
Online is the last resort to everything nowadays. If you can’t be here, you are replaced with a screen to take your presence. Quite frankly, it feels like the wifi has gone out all the time. There are more technical issues than there are resolutions to feeling included. Calallen has provided online for students who are kept home due to their safety. However, this act of personal care does come at a price.
Annoying like a Covid-19 test and just as bad as an exam. Being kept from school activities is now a part of the long con list of online life.
“ I like being a virtual student. It’s just I feel left out of school and class opportunities, due to not being there in person,” said freshman Clarissa Serna.
Like Serna, it is not easy to maintain the same high school experience when at home. Being at home is not all bad and has worked for so many people in the end. The thing is you don’t get to walk the halls like everyone else, nor feel like a wildcat.
It feels foreign being around other people at school, is this what it is like? This version of school was not how I imagined high school. This situation is not what middle school prepared you for. There was no book for “How to survive online school as a freshman for dummies” when you go to the library. Instead, all you can do is manage and pull through like everyone else.
“I wish there was an improvement of having a more enjoyable or fun way to learn the curriculum,” Serna says about what she wishes the year to become. Social distancing doesn’t stand alone. I’ll be six feet apart, with a mask covering my face of agreement.
In hindsight, being an online student teaches you more than the standard school subjects. First off, you learn to be punctual, how to manage your wifi, and to have your teacher’s emails handy in case your computer crashes faster than running away from getting dress coded. When you are home you won’t worry about your attire, because you worry about wifi more than anything. At least while you learn about the French Revolution, you are granted the ability to wear sweat pants and fuzzy socks as the french would say, comfortable.
Lessons don’t only come in a classroom but the classroom of life. A pandemic teaches you multiple things, wearing the lens of the student helped some realize how strong a teacher has been. Not only do teachers have to teach students at school but also the ones at home. It is easily nowhere near the same as traditional taking notes in class. Putting a pen to paper or putting a screen to your eyes? The first seems quite appetizing like the Calallen Cafe during that perfect lunch break.
School overall may appear to be casually cruel, despite being an underrated journey that most should cherish. No matter what screen barrier or shield protector, there should be room for a memorable school year. Many virtual students who have had highs and lows, can successfully say that the year is one for the books or computers at that. There is no doubt this year will ever be forgotten, it is the year you tell your complaining teenage kids when you are a parent saying, “Back in my day…” every time they complain about school. Now that would be the perfect way to keep your kids grateful. Right now we may appear to struggle, but it is the struggles that help us grow to become better students. We learn, we try, and we must understand what we are given. High school online or even at school can move pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.