How Zoom effected high school students: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Updated: Mar 3
It is obvious that the pandemic is affecting students significantly. Although young, elementary grade students are feeling the ramifications as well, I believe high school students are the ones getting hit the hardest- and I'm not just saying that because I'm one of them.
After years of being accustomed to dragging ourselves out of bed at the crack of dawn, spending the better part of our day sitting at a desk, and being expected to manage seven classes worth of work, our lives as high school students were flipped upside down when school became virtual. All of a sudden, school could be done from the comfort of our beds.
At first, despite what was going on in the real world, it didn't seem so bad. In fact, the dissipation of everyday routine was valuable to teenager's mental health. We could sleep, eat, study, and do our daily tasks on our own time, without the burden of work or school obligations. However this nice break quickly turned into a toxic realization that, well, school was pretty easy when it could all be done at home.
Student's attention spans decreased tremendously during the first two months of online school. Whether teachers believe it or not, cheating became normal - and easy - while studying became unnecessary. Teenagers were suddenly passing classes with flying colors while watching Tik Tok; it's not entirely our fault, either. We had no choice in the matter; we just took advantage of an unfortunate situation.
Now fast forward 8 (give or take) months and school is back in session, kind of. Whether it was a hybrid schedule or full day, being physically back in school made a lot of students - including myself - realize why online school felt so easy. Actually having to be sitting at a desk, pay attention and dedicate time to studying now feels foreign and difficult. I found myself missing the all virtual schedule; sure, seeing friends in the hallway was a hopeful development, but online classes were kind of nice.
Online school also challenged student's accountability, which could be a good and bad thing. Students who chose to be responsible will be affected in a positive way; their organization skills and motivation will increase. Students who chose to take advantage of the experience in a negative way will feel the negative effects, like falling behind in work and a decrease in their 'drive.'
Almost everyone around the country felt the effects of the pandemic in different ways. For students, the long term effects they will face depends on how they faced the challenge of virtual school.