Lifestyle, Opinions

Pursuing an education: virtual style

As the one year mark of the first coronavirus pandemic shut down rapidly approaches, it has changed the educational system by transitioning from in-person to online instruction to flatten the curve.

Education has played an important role within students because it not only gives them the opportunity to study a major they’re interested in, but can also help them to develop critical thinking skills along the way to prepare them for their careers.

Long Beach State released a spring semester update in early Jan. 2021 confirming face-to-face classes remaining online until Mar. 1, 2021, due to numerous COVID-19 cases reported in the state of California.

Since online instruction has replaced in-person education for about a year now, it can be frustrating to stay motivated. As a third-year journalism major who transferred from Cypress College, I’m unfamiliar with the in-person learning environment that CSULB has to offer. Still, I’m trying to make the best out of my virtual college experience whether it’s attending events or engaging with other classmates via Zoom.

Online school offers both asynchronous and synchronous courses for students to attend in the comfort of their own homes. Asynchronous courses, which have no scheduled Zoom meeting, are beneficial for students who work full-time jobs or who prefer learning at their own pace, allowing them to plan out their daily schedules.

Since the pandemic has changed the ways of education, the biggest obstacle of remote courses is practicing effective time management skills to avoid procrastinating on projects and assignments. I tend to procrastinate on schoolwork if I don’t plan my schedule out by writing down due dates on an agenda and planning out the times I’ll be studying.

Although transitioning to online education was unexpected at first, it’s important to take breaks from your computer screen. The American Optometric Association advises individuals who work through digital screens for a long period of time to follow the 20-20-20 rule, which is taking a 20 second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes in order to avoid digital eye strain.

While in-person learning also required self-discipline, campus resources such as the library and face-to-face tutoring sessions eased the stress students go through when having difficulty with the class material. In-person study groups were also formed before the pandemic, where classmates would help each other whether it was reviewing for an upcoming exam or having a better understanding of the lessons taught.

The purpose of education still remains an important aspect even though we’re online, and if you’re experiencing difficulty learning the material or have questions instructors can be reached through email or through Zoom office hours.

As we experience another virtual semester, it’s important to also make time to practice self-care acts such as exercising and taking well-deserved breaks.

With that being said, let’s make the best out of Zoom university and continue progressing towards our educational goals.

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