With cases rising by the minute and everyone freaked out about the pandemic, we have come up with alternative solutions to our basic problems to reduce the spread of coronavirus, patiently awaiting the day that the CNN headline reads “Cure for Coronavirus Found!”. But until that day we need to make sure our species doesn't lose too many lives over this virus. Online school has become prevalent across the globe and I consider myself lucky that in my situation at least I still get to go to in-person school (the benefits of living in Canada). I may be lucky, but I know many places that aren't so fortunate that have online classes instead of in-person day after day. I know it's rough, but even through all these coronavirus restrictions and such there are some pros and there are some cons. Today I'm going to help you find these pros and cons - exploit them for your own purposes!
1. You could be wearing pajama bottoms, and no one would know!
When I was taking online classes in June to finish off the school year, I would always be all dressed up, probably wearing jeans and a 'Friends' t-shirt. But after a while I realized that no one would be looking at my pants unless I was standing, so I was free to wear whatever pants I deemed appropriate. Let me tell you, my legs had never felt so comforted, and this little shift during my online classes actually aided me in concentrating in class and even gave me a boost in self-confidence, because (no offense to all the jean obsessed girls/boys out there) jeans are quite uncomfortable. But it also depends on the type and brand of jeans you decide to purchase.
From this experience I've been wearing jogging pants to school more often and I'm going to take advantage of the next pajama day my school hosts.
To expand on this, you're at home while online classes are going on, right? So go nuts with comfort! Maybe put a pillow behind your back on your desk chair or place your hair in a messy bun to really pull off that “study look” with a pencil in your hair. Even order a nice seat cushion from amazon to amuse your buttocks while your French teacher blabs on about some book that she asked you and the class to read. Really go all out in comfortable accessories that you would get judged for at your school. And since you're muted most of the time anyway, turn on some music so that your teachers voice isn't the only thing echoing in your bedroom!
2. You can blame it on the Wi-Fi.
“Madeline? What do you think of the mitosis process?” Don't you hate it when a teacher notices your lack of participation in class and targets you with questions about the material? This happens to me on occasion when my mind wanders off somewhere else in class as my science teacher was explaining the reproduction process for mitosis. Well, at least on online classes, you can blame it on the Wi-Fi. Maybe come back with a response like: “Sorry my Wi-Fi lagged out for a second, we really need to get better Wi-Fi in our house, what were you saying?” Try sometimes even to actually give a reasonable reason like: “I live in the basement and the router is upstairs”, or “Our Wi-Fi isn't that strong”, or something even better like: “Everyone else in our house is using Wi-Fi”. Okay, I know I'm not the best at this but at least I gave it a shot.
Whenever I see this sign on a restaurant door or just in any store in general it always makes my day.
3. Minimal Distractions.
If you're in online school, your motto right now is most probably “No friends = no fun”, but there is a flip side to this. Think about it, with friends being in your class, the constant interactions with them can make you a teeny bit distracted in your school classroom. Without friends, it can be more boring but you can start focusing more on important things like the stuff the teacher is saying, and the test you have the next day.
4. Introverts are celebrating.
I, myself, am not an introvert but I know a number of people who are, and would probably agree with me on this point. With interactions being put to a minimum and the pressure of speaking in front of your class being set aside, introverts are definitely dancing in their seats. Extroverts may be questioning this hypothesis, but I can confirm that interactions were made between me and my friends that this fact is indeed true.
There're no teachers interrogating you to answer a question (at least for the brief time I was in online school) and if you ever are cornered, you can, like one of my previous points has mentioned, blame it on the Wi-Fi and save yourself from embarrassment once again. Or, just be overly prepared if the teacher were to ever ask you a question on the material.
*Remember I am just determining these points from personal experience and that some of these pros may not be appropriate in your particular perspective or experience.
1. Interactions between friends have reached a bare minimum.
Unless you and your friends hang out outside online classes frequently, the time that you have together is low based off of how the class is oriented online. What my friends and I did after our online school was finished for the day was Facetime on the group chat and talk about class, and just about anything that came to mind. But virtual hangout sessions with your friends are nothing to compared to in-person communication where you can base your language and reactions off the other persons facial expressions and coordination. Virtually, it's hard to read a persons face for attitude or judgement so usually it is interpreted unjustly.
2. Lack of Exercise.
Sitting at your desk chair for half the day for online school, doing homework and going to sleep, may not be the best way to keep your physical health intact, but it is a refreshing new routine for your mental. Maybe you can make it a routine every morning to go for a 20-minute walk to get your blood flowing and heart pumping before online school begins. Or if that might not be appropriate in your situation, watch a quick workout video that you can accomplish maybe two times a day so that you at least know you did something physical in your daily routine.
Even if you can't take a walk around the block, you should get some amount of vitamin D at some point during the day, as it's always good to keep your skin glowing. Maybe open your bedroom window and listen to the calming breeze or the rushing of cars at 8 in the morning, but make sure some amount of clean air reaches your lungs.
3. Technical Difficulties.
Even if I did use the “blame it on the Wi-Fi” as one of the highlights of online learning, sometimes it does happen that either your computer lags or there's a pause in your network connection that can make you miss an important piece of information that a teacher was explaining, like the reproduction process of mitosis or the due date for your next project. No matter how good a Wi-Fi you have, there could always be a lag or glitch in your connection for multiple different reasons. It is a pain when you have to ask your friend after class what the teacher was talking about when she/he literally saw you listen.
4. Learning Made Difficult.
Learning online and learning in-person are two separate concepts, both with different outcomes. It's much harder to concentrate and comprehend the material in online classes than in-person where most teachers get communicatively involved with the class, answering questions and allowing the students to recognize the subject more thoroughly. If you want to ask questions in an online forum, it requires more courage and effort to speak into the microphone clearly, and you feel as if the whole class is watching you. In one way, they are.
Sources: Personal experience and my rather large brain.