The Virtual Learning Experience
By Madison Lloyd –
Seven months ago, if you were to tell me that I’d probably never walk the halls of Centereach High School again… I’m not going to lie, I probably would not have believed you. However, after the telling day of March 13, 2020, our worlds changed.
What kind of drastic thing would push me to do homeschooling? Well, 2020’s defining feature, COVID-19, would be the perfect answer. So here I am, like many most American students across the country, stuck in the confines of my room for 6-7 hours of the day, partaking in a 100% Virtual Learning experience.
Now, people must think that any alternative to in-person learning must be the worst thing on earth. You don’t get to see your friends, learning online can be quite difficult for some, and if you are anything like me, who lives with four other people who all need to be on the Internet at the same time, Wi-Fi service can get a little tricky. It sounds like it can be a really a terrible experience all around, but it really isn’t. Unlike many other students who decided on the Hybrid-Learning Model, I chose to do everything from home. At first, I dreaded it. I wanted to push the first day of school to the back of my mind. I mean, who doesn’t? The idea of having to wake up at 7:00 am to sit at my desk and listen to teachers talk through a screen while my gloriously comfy bed was right next to me, seemed like downright torture. But I got used to it, I couldn’t just stare at my bed longingly for the rest of the year.
Now, as I’m writing this, I am totally used to waking up at 6:45am to get ready to listen to my AP Lang teacher talk about rhetoric and I can honestly say that I have adjusted well to this version of education. Doing everything online has kept me more organized. Last year I had these big binders for endless amounts of notes and homework, which made searching for specifics in its masses somewhat difficult. The idea of having it all behind this one tiny screen is comforting, opposed to when my heart dropped when I realized I had left my stoichiometry outlines at school the night before the test. I previously mentioned being stuck in my room for 6-7 hours a day. Using the word “stuck” makes it seem like such a horrible thing – allowed to stay in my room all day is a more accurate description. How many of you have parents who fuss about you being “antisocial,” when in reality we’re just in our comfort zones? With virtual learning, now we can be in our rooms or in the house without any problems. Our rooms are our safe havens, so being there makes getting work done so much easier. There are no interruptions or distractions, and for the most part getting to work on your own is a plus. For me, at least.
You may ask why I ignore the negatives that come with this form of education. Well, I would say that there’s nothing to ignore. I have no qualms with virtual learning. But I do have other siblings, one of which makes it apparent that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Everyone is different and everyone has a different outlook on this new situation. Not everyone wants to get accustomed to this new educational setting. I would love for everything to go back to “old-normal” in as short as a couple of months, but that’s wishful thinking. We’re all getting used to something, and this “new-normal” is at the top of the list. For now, virtual learning will have to do.