Graphic by Estefani Rios
After nearly a full school year back in person, I have had time to reflect, compare, and contrast the journey we all took through virtual learning.
The first thing I have noticed about being back at school in person is the effect it has had on my grades. I have started to notice that not only am I doing better academically, but I am also actually learning and grasping the information that is being taught. I have even found myself bringing up the material I’ve learned in everyday conversation.
When I was virtual, the information being given to me seemed to go in one ear and out the other. I wasn’t paying attention, and the learning I lost has definitely made it harder for me this year while taking the next leveo of classes.
I have also noticed the full effect virtual learning had on my learning abilities. I found myself slacking off and it was difficult to pay attention with all of the distractions at home. Being back in person, I am able to see the full potential I have and how I didn’t get a chance to show through while I was virtual.
While the poor decisions I made last year regarding slacking off are in the past, I’m still dealing with their effects. Now I am working to the best of my ability to become a better and more alert student.
One thing that had a negative impact on me during virtual learning was the lack of social interaction. When I was virtual, I had very little social interaction besides my family and close friends. As someone who enjoys conversing with my peers, I had no motivation to join online meetings knowing I wouldn’t get any of the social interaction I craved.
Regaining that social interaction through in-person school has had a huge impact on my overall well-being. Something as simple as asking the student next to me for help on a homework question has been a huge benefit of being in person. I’ve been able to make new friends and create new memories I will carry with me all throughout my life.
Learning overall has been a much more hands-on and enjoyable experience since coming back to school, particularly in more hands-on classes. For example, my favorite part of science class has always been the labs and hands-on activities. When everyone was virtual it was nearly impossible to do anything similar to those activities. Now being back in school, science class is enjoyable again.
Although I have days where school is the last place I want to go, I am grateful to be back in school and surrounded by my peers.