A day in the life of pandemic students
October 19, 2020
Online student perspective pt. 1
Our lives since COVID-19 have all changed one way or another, even our schooling has changed. Now, we have some kids that go to school in-person and some who do it online.
Everyone’s new normal is different.
Alexa wakes me up around 8 a.m., blaring her “CHIME CHIME CHIME” into the room. Sunlight warms my skin as it shines through curtainless windows, illuminating scattered books spread on the grey carpeted floor. I lay in bed for a while longer before dragging my icy, numb body to the bathroom. I try to wear jeans sometimes, but there are days that cannot be convinced jeans are any better than sweatpants. My outfits range from “It’s 3 a.m. and I’m going back to bed” to “We’re in Paris, take my picture”.
Here’s an example of what I might wear in a week:
Socked feet tiptoe down the stairs, making their way to the kitchen, where I grab a quick breakfast (usually just a drink).
“Okay, so yesterday we did notes on-” my algebra teacher begins as I race back up the stairs to sit at my desk.
Our calls usually only last ten to fifteen minutes and then we work on our assignments individually. Next, I have journalism which only has two calls a week. Finally, I have Psychology for third period which has a call almost everyday.
11:36 appears on the clock and lunch arrives.
I have either leftovers, frozen meals, pizza, soup, or a sandwich. Eating in the kitchen is a glory, as the only people surrounding are empty spaces. My computer plays Netflix and I smile to myself, happy at home.
Face-to-face students have a study hall, but to have time to make lunch and eat while watching a show, that is skipped.
For fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh periods, I have a call every day. And then woohoo: I’m already home from school. I have a snack and then work on homework for a while, sitting at a marble-topped desk filled with papers, notebooks, pens and pencils, a calculator, a water bottle, a globe, a candle, books, and files.
The day is over and I’m going to bed.
It might seem like a pretty average day, but it is a lot different from in-person school and it has its own pros and cons.
Overall, I love online school and believe it is the perfect fit for me, especially during COVID-19.
It reduces my anxiety and stress levels, while giving me time alone to work and think. If I could stay online even after the virus is gone, I would, at least for another year.
Everyone is in different circumstances and has different personalities, but I believe that having the choice of online and in-person, while being more work for teachers, is overall beneficial for the student body. Some students, however, do not have a choice on whether to go in-person or not. I did not have a choice, but my choice would have been the same either way.
Online schooling is different from face-to-face learning, and for me, it’s better. But let’s not just take one opinion from this.
Online student perspective pt. 2
My online routine throughout the day is pretty ritualistic. I have the same routine in-person students have such as getting up at 7:40 a.m., getting dressed, eating breakfast, and making myself look presentable. Although there are major differences between going through your day online and face to face, there are pros and cons to attending online school this year.
- More free time because I get off from school earlier
- Work at your own pace
- You can eat the food you have at home
- You don’t have to get up as early
- No bus (the ride home would take an hour long)
- You can dress however you want
- Don’t have to see people I would normally try to avoid
- I feel safer and more comfortable at home
- No social interaction
- Sometimes it is harder to understand directions
- It’s harder to ask questions because I am nervous to halt the class lecture
Personally, I love online school. It’s a perfect fit for me because I am way less stressed about workload, and taking the bus to and from school everyday is a chore. I prefer to wear what I want. I don’t have a fourth period most days because my art class only has Google Meets on Mondays and Tuesdays, so I can take a nap during my lunch break. Online school is a safe way to continue my education, and the benefits of less stress are something I really enjoy. It’s an amazing alternative to face-to-face learning.
In person student perspective
I typically wake up to the sound of a blaring alarm at 6:00 a.m., and after snoozing over homework for an hour, I leave the house at around 8:25.
I put on my required materials – my mask and student identification, and take the mandatory health screener before walking through the front doors.
I follow the one-way arrows down the halls that guide me class to class that are also preventing me from being thrown into hallway congestion. With two different class release times, the tweaked seven-minute passing period is barely enough time for me to make it before the tardy bell.
Come lunch time, I take a whiff of the cafeteria aroma and before sitting down at the “socially” distanced tables. While waiting for my food, I shuffle my feet forward, pausing periodically when they land on a sticker that signifies six-feet spacing between each lunch-line loiterer.
Once the final bells of the day ring, (the first one dismisses student drivers; the second letting me and my fellow pickup drivers leave, and lastly kids riding bus can release) I either go home or dispatch to my extracurriculars.
During my extracurriculars like theatre and student council, I must keep my mask on at all times since one exposure risks a whole team being quarantined. In place of the annual fall show, now theatre has a monologue and musical based compilation due to social distance being enforced on stage.
Behind uniformed masks, it can be hard to differentiate who’s who at times, but I’ve learned to adhere to this new normal to keep my classmates and me safe.
Sure, I could avoid trouble and go to school virtually from the comfort of my own home, but I know I would go crazy with the lack of social interaction. Without a bond with my teacher, I would struggle to motivate myself during class.
Even with hallway traffic control and sitting spaced out at lunch, it’s worth it.