Over the past nine months, most colleges and universities have moved some or all of their classes online, as an emergency measure to protect communities from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, which to date has killed more than 270,000 Americans.
Locally, where the University of La Verne, with the Cal States and most other colleges are all online, some students say working in isolation, sometimes with patchy Internet among other distractions, can make it harder to do school.
They report mixed feelings about their online classes.
Taylor Vasquez, a junior educational studies major at the University of La Verne, said that while most professors in her major have been accommodating, and are trying their best to make learning as interactive as possible, all-online is challenging.
“Since week two (of the semester) I have been drowning in my school work, and sitting in front of my computer all day for classes, homework and extracurricular is very tiring,” Vasquez said.
Lauren Jacoby, a freshman educational studies major, said online classes have offered flexibility, and she thinks they might be good for people who have a hard time interacting socially. But she says she is missing the connection with her professors.
“A con regarding online classes is not having good connections with educators and the gap between grasping knowledge through a screen,” Jacoby said.
Natalia Carrillo, a sophomore sociology major, said she feels that her professors are really considerate about students’ tech and other challenges at this difficult time, but she said some profs are not as technology savvy as she would like, and this affects her performance in the classes.
Izabel Limon, a sophomore rhetoric and communication studies major at the University of La Verne, considers herself a hands-on learner and with classes being online, she is left with the struggles of filling that gap.
“Some cons to having online classes are that I have a harder time learning, since I am a more hands-on learner. It is harder to grasp certain concepts,” Limon said. “It also has essentially destroyed any kind of mental stability that I had, given that the only social interaction that I’m allowed to have is either through a phone or with the people that I live with.”
Limon also explained that before classes were moved online she worked two full-time jobs and now she has been furloughed from both and this has left her feeling much less secure.
Many students like Limon are experiencing financial difficulties. Some, however, have seen online classes as part of a money-saving plan.
“I have been able to save a lot of money being online since I don’t need to pay for dorms,” Carillo said. “I have been able to find a job near my house and save up money for school.”
Some students said they had to invest in things like faster wifi, computers and other supplies to accommodate their online classes.
Corina Ruelas, a sophomore criminology major at La Verne, said that she had to invest in a faster computer because of the excessive computer use that comes with online school.
Kiara Andrada, a junior criminology major at La Verne, has considered taking time off.
“If I wasn’t set to graduate early I would’ve taken the year off,” Andrada said.
Gabriella Cummings can be reached at email@example.com.