Home sick

Students studied for their finals from home due to COVID-19

As of January 15th, 366 students had tested positive for COVID-19. As more students tested positive for COVID and were forced to quarantine, which caused others to stay home as a precautionary measure, more students had to learn from home. According to senior Vanessa Wasden, who was at home with COVID the week after winter break, finding the energy to get things done was a true struggle.

“It was hard to find the motivation to even look at a 115 slide PowerPoint. It was so intimidating it made me not want to do it. And I just often got sidetracked at home in a way that I don’t at school,” Wasden said. 

In spite of her struggles, Wasden found ways to help her stay on task and accomplish everything that she needed to each day. 

“I tried to set myself a schedule, and I had goals every morning that I wanted to check off. That kept me going,” Wasden said. 

Wasden initially tried to stick to the schedule she would have used had she been in person, doing work for her specific classes on the days she had them, but she found it more efficient for her to do all of her work on the same day and have a “free day” in between. Even with her new schedule, Wasden found it difficult to find an optimal way to study for finals.

“I talked about [what I was learning] with my parents, and that’s how I always study. I kind of teach them the content and by going over it again. It helps me remember,” Wasden said.

According to Wasden, when students aren’t learning content in a classroom setting or on a Zoom call, they can decide when they do work and when they study. Without pre-scheduled classes, it can be difficult to decide when the best time to study for a class is.

“I would review at home and try to learn the content at the same pace of the in-person class. It was kind of weird to try and learn it and then study it the next minute,” Wasden said. 

At a “crucial” time before finals, Wasden felt it would be easier to be on campus, where she could be in a classroom setting with her teachers. However, while it would have been more beneficial to be back on campus, it doesn’t mean that it was what she was most comfortable with. 

“I’d rather have been on campus, but due to the amount of COVID cases, I felt safer at home. But I do think that since I was at home, I wasn’t getting the same opportunity [to learn in a classroom setting]. I wish I would have been at school before finals,” Wasden said.

Wasden was not the only student who was concerned with the rising number of COVID cases; currently, however, cases are beginning to drop. Freshman Jacob Gray spent the week after winter break learning from home as a precautionary measure, with the number of COVID cases being high. Similar to Wasden, Gray struggled with motivation when working from home, but he also struggled with focus. 

“Since there were so many distractions at home, it made it difficult to do what I needed to do,” Gray said.

Nevertheless, Gray was able to find ways to stay on track in order to do his work and study for finals.

“I made a timer for each and every day so that I could stay on track. I also had my family remind me to do my work,” Gray said.

However, according to Wasden and Gray, there were some upsides to being home. Wasden was able to make more time for reading and reorganizing her room, and Gray found more time to rest, and both said that being at home was a mental reset and a way to have more freedom.

But despite the opportunities given to them by staying home, both Wasden and Gray agreed that it would’ve been more beneficial to their education to be learning in person. 

“I feel like it would have been more beneficial for me to be back in class because it’s easier for me to pay attention. Sure, you have to get up earlier, but it’s well worth it for me to be able to learn more effectively and have a better future later,” Gray said.