One of the pandemic’s greatest victims is frankly…
The Covid-19 pandemic completely distracted learning leaving many of us struggling to adapt to this day.
It has been an uphill battle for me from day one till now, and it has made me come to the realization that social interactions are needed in order for young people to thrive in school.
After more than half a year of online classes, I decided to visit my college for the first time since schools closed due to the rise of COVID in the spring of 2020.
I was getting tired of social and physical isolation of being at home and on top of that was having a difficult time focusing on my studies where there was nothing stopping me from distraction.The longer the months passed, the more restless I became.
I needed a change of environment and was missing the atmosphere of college, so I decided to pay Hunter College a visit and do homework at the library…like the good old days!
I arrived on campus on a cool fall morning and instantly felt a feeling of naustausia, staring up at the campus building, all the memories rushed to me once again. I was overwhelmed with excitement as I swiped my student ID and greeted the campus security guard as I made my way to the elevetors.
Rising fast up to the third floor, the elevator doors opened welcoming me to a rather bizarre scene – a once busy floor with rushing traffic of students now just empty hallways and rooms.
Everywhere it was the same story; a once busy cafeteria, now empty and the campus library — a treasure trove of unused resources, unlimited quiet comfortable desks, printers, and books.
As I adventured deeper into the library, I was lucky to find students who have decided to do the same as me, but all were in their own corners — studying alone. On my favorite floor, I found a large desk that would have been a gem to find pre-pandemic, but now in a sea of empty desks it was nothing special.
It once used to frustrate me when the library would be full to the brim with the only available space being the group tables with loud collaborating students.
Nothing was the same, I realized I missed it…
I missed the human interaction.
I missed the lively, busy environment.
I missed the stress, the grind, and the commute…I preferred it that way.
At home there is no space to study like going into school. The classroom environment and school ampmorpshere nurtured a setting that allowed focus, when aqt home I am at the misery of distraction, by my phone, by my computer, and by family members.
It requires a lot more mental stamina to focus when so much freedom is allowed, the pandemic forces young people to create new strategies to get things done,and come to terms with their own struggles with procrastination and organization, when there is no one to hold your hand.
On the other hand, some good came out of creating a new culture of learning.
Students collaborate with each other and share resources using apps like Discord, they create study groups with Zoom.
Professors are more lenient, flexible and understanding to their students, they are understanding it is hard for all of us.
I don;t feel like I’m learning anything.
Schools in general have taken into account the mental health of their students when a student is falling behind, instead of blaming it solely on laziness.
The reality is we need human interaction. Seeing human interaction is important; seeing a lively environment fosters learning, growth and creativity.
I don’t know how long it will take, but I dream of a day I can walk into a full class room once again.