Online classes during a pandemic? Not it

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Makayla Porter

Initially, there was excitement for 2020, because every celebration was on the weekend and the aura surrounding the year was happy and free. Personally, I was turning 21, which is an important age; it was going to be the best birthday celebration I’d ever have. 

We were robbed of that joyous year because of COVID-19. This virus forced us into our homes, closing everything, forcing almost everyone to stop working and made us practice six feet of social distancing three months into the year. It was some of the worst news that we got economically.

As if COVID-19 could get any worse, students were also told that they had to go to school. Whether private, public, community or university, every type of school was going to continue with their classes— online. This is where I wanted to check out. I tried to keep a positive attitude. I didn’t have to pay a ridiculous amount to park near school, I was able to work more and I’d taken online classes before— how bad could it be?

Turns out, very bad. It didn’t take long to realize that on top of working two jobs –over 60 hours a week – I was virtually attending three classes where my professors did not seem to understand that not every student was a traditional student. I felt like I was getting piles of assignments left and right, with no help and no time to ask for it. I couldn’t reach out to my classmates as easily because they were working as well or had other classes stressing them out. I didn’t understand what was going on in any of my classes, and it stressed me out to the point where I cried more this semester than any other semester.

Understandably, teachers have their own things to deal with during this pandemic. For instance, my professor is pregnant, so I recognize that it’s difficult to be there. However, as a teacher, it’s their job to make sure their students understand what’s going on in class and asking if they need a little more help. It’s important to be lenient, considering that some of these classes aren’t meant to be taught virtually. 

My biggest stressor is statistics. I am a journalism major, which tells you that math is not my forte. It’s hard enough learning math in person, even more so when you have a professor that only gives you a workbook, workbook problems, and an offering of tutoring for help. Tutoring sounds great, but it’s nearly impossible to do that while working over 60 hours a week. 

I know I’m not alone in feeling like online classes are way more stressful. It feels like there is no break between life and school. Online classes are not as easy as the schools want to make it out to be, and I believe that there should be a better way to do this.

I have a friend attending school and they’re taking one class a month during this pandemic. That seems much less stressful, since the focus is only on one class. More assignments? Sure. But at least it’s only one class and not three or more.

In any case, I think that it was a joke to send students back to school during a pandemic, expecting everything to be normal for everyone, when we don’t all come from the same family, income or access background. UK and other universities across America should have done better for their students’ futures.