The Pandemic Student

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The Pandemic Student

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Being a student during the COVID-19 pandemic seemed easy at first since we were all going to be at home for the rest of the Spring semester of 2020. I thought of it as a time to finally relax and slow down on classes now that we were going to be home. But I didn't expect the amount of change the pandemic actually brought to my life. I didn't realize how much I relied on my everyday school schedule to organize my daily routines. When in-person classes stopped, the first week of classes at home seemed easy. I thought I could do it. But as time passed, I realized how difficult it was to keep up with class demands as well as home demands now that both were in the same environment.

Some of my classes became asynchronous, while others became live. Waking up on time became difficult when I was able to stay in the comfort of my bed the whole day. And being on my laptop for all of my classes made it easy to be distracted by other things on the internet. Being at home meant I could fall asleep in class without anyone directly seeing me. With no school schedule, such as common hours, walking to and from classes, meeting up with friends during gaps, the routine in my life seemed non-existent. I was at home all day, and my sense of order seemed to fade as the semester went on. The type of student I used to be was usually a lot more punctual, submitting assignments on time, taking notes during class, finishing homework early. But the type of student the pandemic changed me into was lazy, sleepy, tired, late in submitting assignments, more careless about classwork and homework, skipping a lot of note-taking in class, and delaying work. My orderly life, my daily routine, was now out of order and out of routine. It became very hard to be a good student during the pandemic because my lack of motivation swooped low.

By Fall semester of 2020, I was already falling off track within the first two to three weeks. By the end of the semester, I even failed to submit an important final on time. Although I was becoming such a terrible student, many of my professors remained understanding, kind, and caring, giving me extended time on late assignments, and providing support when I needed it. I don't think I would have passed all of my classes if it weren't for the kindness of many of my professors.

My worst semester was Spring of 2021. I had to take a writing intensive course. Although I was only taking 4 classes, that one class felt so heavy that it was the main course I was focusing on. The course also had a lab section, which would've been better done in-person. Doing in-person classes online was not the best experience. While in an in-person lab students would be working together and classwork would be done together, online we were just given directions and told to submit the classwork after working on it ourselves. It became so difficult that I ended up dropping the class and taking it again in the summer. Though it was my worst semester ever, my professors were still so kind and understanding, supporting my decision and wishing me well.

Although it seemed being a student during the pandemic would be easy at the beginning, I quickly realized how far that was from the truth. The pandemic teared apart my routine, which I didn't realize how heavily I relied on. The order in my life felt close to chaotic at some point and affected so many aspects of my life: as a student, a daughter, a sister, my religion, and my social life.

Right now, during the Fall 2021 semester, I'm still working on building up my routine and trying to stick to it, despite being at home. I've regained some of my motivation and try to submit assignments on time, but I don't always succeed. Balance is hard when two different parts of one's life—in my case, my school and home life—become one and the same. I had a hard time allocating appropriate time for school and appropriate time for family, chores, and self-care.

Perhaps by now I've gotten a bit used to the pandemic, but still prefer in-person as it would bring back that order in my life: waking up, getting ready, going to class, finishing class, doing work during schedule gaps, going to another class, etc. Now my schedule is more like: wake up, class, eat breakfast during class, be unproductive during class gaps, go to another class, etc. And through all this, I'm also on my phone or watching something else, or talking to a family member, or doing something else distracting. However, since I've been trying to build up my routine and increase my motivation, it's been easier to pay attention and work harder in class. As a senior, I obviously want to graduate on time so that is definitely a motivational factor for me to do well this semester. Because in-person class options are now available, I look forward to bringing back order to my life next Spring semester.
Senior undergrad majoring in Psychology

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This item was submitted on September 30, 2021 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story With Us” on the site “Brooklyn College New York”:

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