While, for December, I am a journalism intern at The Chief, most of the time — during the pandemic — I have been a student at Langara College, where I have been learning almost entirely online.
It has been pretty great, surprisingly.
Not having to get out of bed to go and sit in class has definitely been a big deal.
As COVID-19 spread around the world earlier this year and national governments imposed lockdowns, universities, along with almost everything else that could, shifted to an online format.
At first, I was skeptical about how everything was going to go this past semester, but the online format was smoother than anticipated.
The previously dreadful experience of having an 8:30 a.m. class turned into a minor displeasure.
Instead of the decimating experience of having to get up at 6:30 a.m., just to go sit in another room in another building in another part of town to watch a PowerPoint
presentation on a projector screen from a professor’s laptop, the morning class turned into a peaceful and relaxing morning ritual.
I would wake up at the beyond reasonable hour of 8 a.m. and make myself a liter of loose-leaf tea to then cozy up in front of my laptop and watch lectures in the comfort of my bedroom.
Caroline Egan, a Squamish resident and Langara College journalism student in my class, said she “wouldn’t have gone back to college if it wasn’t online.”
The best part of it was “the fact that I could balance my lifestyle,” said Egan.
She said that she has been able to work, take care of her new dog, and make time for activities, such as rock climbing, due to the flexibility the online format provides.
Granted, for some, it was more difficult than for others to adjust to not having the hands-on approach of normal classes.
But I liked it.
I would argue that it makes you actively learn the material and pushes you to collaborate with other students — which really helps you learn the material in a meaningful way.
And you know the feeling of your impending demise when you wake up in the morning with one of the COVID-19 symptoms. Well lucky for you, you don’t need to sacrifice your education while in quarantine thanks to online classes.
I became ill during the semester but being able to keep up with my demanding schedule from home was perfect.
Education at home equals less stress.
And being at home can create a healthier lifestyle; something students are not known for.
If I was hungry, I would turn off my camera and cook up a storm during class. There were no more long starving days — instead, I was mere steps away from the kitchen.
If you are thinking about, or dreading about, going back to post-secondary education before the pandemic is over, my advice is to go for it.
It isn’t half bad.