By Astrid Ortega
With Fall semester winding down, I have started to reflect on how the online experience has been so far for me. I have to admit that it’s been a difficult semester and I do not think I'm alone on that. From having to keep up with deadlines to finding motivation for assignments, online learning has become a lesson to many of us.
Back in March, I was waiting for my fashion merchandising class to start, sitting in the FCS building when we got the email announcing school would be remote. At the time I did not think much of it, we would be getting a bit of time off in the middle of the semester and it seemed like it was not that serious. But as time went on, it became incredibly clear that this could be difficult.
For me, it was a big change personally and academically. I never realized how much I hated studying at home until now. Back when we were on campus, my routine would be to get my work done at the library or under the trees in front of the art building where I would not go home until I met my studying goals for the day. Or if I was not on campus, I would go to a coffee shop and do my work there. The environment at school and coffee shops are the reason I would focus more. Now, when I want to do an assignment it takes me longer because I can’t focus in my room and get distracted since in my head my room is associated with comfort not work.
Along with struggling with finding the effort to do work, it simply felt like I did not really learn much this semester. Everything was basically on my own time and that can be easily taken advantage of. Combining the fear of failure and quarantine boredom, there was a lot of time to think and sometimes it was not good thinking. But that was okay because we are in a pandemic and it’s hard on all of us in different ways.
This pandemic and time online has given me a lot of space to work on myself and grow. I learned a lot about myself during those first few months of quarantine and I am still learning. I have realized that in areas like time management and studying, I really need to sit myself down at a certain time in the day and just focus on things for ten minutes first. In areas like self-care, I have learned that it is okay to not have a good day and that being home so much can be hard on my mental health. I have figured out ways to deal with that like meditation, listening to music, journaling, and even just petting my dog.
Now that the semester is ending, it seems like a perfect time to just reflect on how you dealt with an entire semester being online and how you kept yourself sane. If you find this semester tough, then next semester is probably going to be just as tough, but if we take the time to put a little more effort into ourselves, we can make things easier.