Learning to thrive, remotely

March 25, 2021 4:45 PM

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Photo of a student working on a laptop at home. Image courtesy of Amy Spratt via Unsplash.

Photo of a student working on a laptop at home. Image courtesy of Amy Spratt via Unsplash.

Diary Entry 1

Being physically distanced from people for the past year has had many negatives and positives for me. It's been a bit conflicting for me and I've gone back and forth on whether or not it's been more positive than negative. But, I've come to the conclusion that it's been more negative. The reason it took me a while to decide this is because I'm one of those people who has never thrived in social interactions or enjoyed them in any way. I never went to parties, I hated making friends, and I can't carry a conversation well. So, my first thought on not having to do any of these things was that it was great. 

I loved that I could stay in my room all day, and I loved that I had to stay inside. I felt like I could be alone and have felt at peace by myself. In later years it was brought up that what I was that I had been feeling for so much of my life was social anxiety. I had always just been told I was shy. I looked at social distancing as a time that I could use to figure out how to manage my social anxiety. I figured maybe all this time could do me well in that way. That by not interacting with people I could recharge until I would have to go back to in-person interactions. 

But soon, I started feeling like I was just being trapped in a bubble. I had never wanted to talk to people or be social, but as time went on I felt myself wanting to. I had missed things that I had never missed before, things that I dreaded. Like talking to people in a class, or small talk with people around me. I wanted to do all the things I refused to do when things were the way they were before. “I wish I would have made friends with that girl who sat next to me”, “I wish I would have gone to all those parties I missed”, I wished I would have just answered that question in class." I started seeing all these potential moments go to waste. I had nothing to do but to think about them and what could have happened if I had made myself do them.

I came to the realization that what I thought had been the biggest positive, was really the main negative that came out of social distancing. I stopped going to school, I stopped going to stores, I stopped talking to people. All things that I liked at first until I realized the negative impact that not having social interactions can have. Everyone needs to be with people, even people with social anxiety. So, the conclusion I made was that the biggest negative aspect of social distancing was that I actually do need it even though there was a time I didn't think I did.

Diary Entry 2

I have noticed a lot about myself and my family during the coronavirus pandemic. I have learned that people are a lot more influenced by other people than I had thought before. I found that I'm a lot different than I would act when I was in school or other places. People are a lot more affected by their surroundings than we think. I've noticed that when around different people and environments we don't always act like ourselves without even noticing it. I think that a lot of people have really found themselves and what they believe by just being by themselves.

The alone time I had made it impossible not to observe new things about myself and others. We were all able to reconnect with ourselves in a way which is something I noticed we all kind of did. I also was able to really connect with my family and develop a stronger connection with them. I never knew how smart my sister was, or how adorable my brother is, or how much my mom cared for me. The time we had stuck in our houses gave us more than enough time to discover new things about those who are the closest to us. 

But, I also got a chance to reflect on how I used to act and what I really am like when I'm not around other people. I think that knowing who we are when alone is something really important because it can really shape our personalities. I have noticed that I'm a really determined person and that I know what I want to do with my life already. I noticed I can get really distracted from things I want. I've noticed that I like to have different hobbies, I like finding things to do then find something else when I've mastered it. I've learned many things that I think would have taken me a long time to figure out or notice about myself.

Diary Entry 3

Since the pandemic began, remote learning has been what I've relied on for school. It comes with many obstacles like technology problems, internet connection, and many other things. It's also come out with a different set of responsibilities like making sure I've charged my computer and having to keep track of time. It's up to the student to make sure they've done all their work and be on time. Things that used to be up to the teachers are now on us. This means that it's basically up to us now. 

Being in online school meant that many people were going to thrive, and others were going to fail. It comes with a lot of advantages and disadvantages and really depends on the student. For me, it was like I was teaching myself which seemed easier to me. I could do all of my work early if I wanted and could just sit at my computer doing everything I had to do. For many people that's hard. It's very easy to get distracted at home when you're laying in bed and the tv is in front of you, and no teacher can tell you to pay attention or you're going to get in trouble.

We're not used to doing school work in that type of environment, we're used to being in a classroom with teachers that would make us work. But now, it was all up to us. I have discovered the benefits of it though. I can do my work at my own pace, and I think it gets me focused when school is right there on my lap. But, at times I can get distracted. And then I realized that I can do the work at any time. Also, we can't miss a day as we could before. This can be a bad thing but really, I'm not missing an entire day then coming the next day feeling lost.

Of course, many kids are failing because of online school, but for me, it's actually boosted my grades a lot. Ever since it started, I've made an honor roll every term. And even on days where I just want to watch tv while I'm in class, I can now because I've learned to multitask. I even found that this can make it so that by doing something else when you get distracted, I can better put all of my attention in when I need to. The way I think of it, you're creating your own school environment/classroom set on your own terms. 

You don't have to ask to go to the bathroom, you don't have to wait till lunch to eat, you don't have to do homework in your free time when you get home. Instead, you're learning to do things like time management and can eat whenever you're hungry, and take breaks from your work whenever you want to. And of course, there are other aspects of online learning that you can create like the social aspect of it, and having the support of teachers, I have learned that when it comes to the actual work, I thrive in online school. My grades improve and I can move at my own pace. But the other half of me is conflicted because I also do miss those other factors that you can only get from in-person school.

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