The new ‘Zoomester’

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You may have dreamt about your first day of college, your first day of classes and your first time away from home. As you imagined these milestones, you probably didn’t see yourself doing them at home on your computer or in your dorm in your pajamas. Alas, here we are. 

This year classes at Guilford, as well as classes on most campuses in the U.S., are looking a little different. This new “Zoomester” is chaotic for college students everywhere. 

Many are begging for their money back after being kicked off campus after just two weeks, but here at Guilford, on-campus life has continued in this new normal.

The three-week portion of the semester has come to a close as the 12-week session dawns upon us. Whether you had a hybrid, synchronous or asynchronous class for your three-week, chances are it is nothing compared to the feeling of juggling three or four courses online as opposed to one.

Technology is a blessing, but the stress of being online, asynchronous, in person or in all three modes within the same day or semester can make you wish we were back to the stone ages.

Personally, I wasn’t concerned about having class online. A couple of Zoom meetings a day with a little bit of homework here and there couldn’t be too bad. Sadly, the first day of the 12-week session gave me a rude awakening.

Waking up on Monday morning for an 8:30 a.m. Zoom session was just the beginning. After trudging through my first session, only checking the built-in clock 20 times, I enjoyed my glorious 15-minute break before my next class. I decided I deserved a well-needed break during lunch but immediately regretted this as I saw my homework piling up before I had even reached my third, and arguably my hardest, class of the day. The first day of the 12-week session was not off to a great start.

After getting through the first week, things didn’t look as bleak. As I started to make time for homework, as well as myself, I began to feel better.

I am beginning to see that in this new digital era of school, it is important to draw a clear line between school and time to relax or to just have fun. Staring at a computer all day is just as hard, if not harder, than going to class every day. I had previously had a clear separation between school time and personal time, but the line is now blurred as school can be held anytime, anywhere.

So, when you get out of class or off of a Zoom meeting, you may want to have a clear block of time to take a walk, with a mask on, of course, or go get a snack. Whatever helps you relax or forget about your homework and tests for a few minutes will hopefully make this online experience a little easier.

School can quickly become the main focus of our lives, especially if we live and breathe it every day. Although school is important and we have to make sure we are responsible students, we can never forget that before we are students, we are people. And people need to do what makes them happy, even if only for a couple hours a day.

Overall, I feel as though this new “Zoomester” will prove to be challenging. It can be hard to learn in person, but it can be even more difficult online. Although online and hybrid classes may not compare to the experiences that we might have had during a normal year, I believe the experiences that we will gain through this new semester will prove to be just as important. 

Hopefully, this new semester will teach us new things that we may never have known in a normal school year. These new memories will be odd but special and I personally can’t wait to make more.