I started my junior year of high school on August 19 and am sitting down to write this after the first (half) week of school. There’s already been quite a few ups and downs, and this is definitely going to be an interesting year for everyone. I’m going to share five things I’ve learned thus far, so keep on reading if you’re interested in hearing about my remote learning experience.
- Patience is key. I know this might seem obvious, but it’s SO necessary that I need to include it anyway. As you might have heard from teachers and other staff, it’s difficult on their end too. We all have to be understanding and adaptable, as that’s what this situation is all about. Expect bumps in the road and that you won’t always be prepared for everything coming our way, but be willing to work past it.
- The phone needs to be out of sight. This might not be as much of a self-discipline issue for everyone, but I’ve found that I’m way more focused if my phone is away from my desk. I’m not even tempted to look at it or noticing notifications pop up if I can’t see it on my surface at all. There’s already so many possible distractions on a computer/whatever device you’re distance learning on, so extra devices definitely need to be put away.
- Zoom can be awkward, but it gets better if you actually participate. I used to be terrified of Zooms and having to speak before I did my writing program over the summer that was run completely on Zoom. That’s helped me so much in this distance learning already–although it was a completely different experience, getting comfortable with Zoom and being able to interact with people I only knew through the screen has made me more confident to participate in my Zoom classes.
- You have to reach out if you want to actually interact with your friends. There’s not a virtual equivalent to lunchtime or just walking from class to class with all your friends. Make sure to check in on your friends and see how their virtual learning is going, and just interact as normally as you possibly can.
- This is a very independent journey. Try to make the best of it, as you would with anything else. This will impact everyone differently, and there may be different pros and cons of this experience for different people. It will definitely test us and make us stronger, so try to make the most of that. Challenge yourself, but also know when you need screen time breaks or when things are getting overwhelming. Use this time to figure out what works for you and how you can build your schedule a little differently.
I hope you guys enjoyed these few little tidbits of things I’ve learned so far! I will make sure to do an updated one sometime soon. Although I’m definitely still focused on coming up with new writing content, I think it’s important to include some education related stuff, as it is the beginning of the school year, and this will be a school year no one forgets. Please feel free to leave feedback in the comments. Stay safe and healthy out there.