The Difficulty of Being A Student In A Pandemic


Photo Provided by Simran Dadra

Simran Dadra, Reporter

In approximately one month, it will be a full year since the world has entered a period of quarantine. On March 13, 2020, our lives were abruptly put on hold as Covid-19 cases began to exponentially rise in the United States. Indubitably, life perceived as “normal” has changed drastically since then. However, one of the biggest changes brought about by the pandemic has been the implementation of distance learning.

Distance learning was first introduced in March of last year when a month long closure of school was announced as a precautionary measure against the pandemic. This was a period of uncertainty and confusion for both students and staff yet with the hope that school would resume in person soon, a transition into distance learning was made.

Initially, distance learning consisted of students completing packets of work with no proper lesson plans. Students were not required to regularly meet with their teachers or attend classes. This phase of distance learning had no structure which made it extremely easy for students to fall behind in school. 

As the new school year commenced, many students expected distance learning to occur similarly to its format from the previous semester. However, this was not the case at all. Although the 2020-2021 school year has been conducted entirely on an online platform, significant improvements have been made to distance learning. 

For instance, distance learning this school year pushes students to follow a schedule which ensures they meet with teachers regularly. In addition to this, students have been provided with a plethora of resources to receive assistance. Teachers have gone above and beyond to make sure students are learning to the best of their abilities in these difficult times. 

Although distance learning has improved greatly from its original format, it still poses many challenges. A major concern regarding distance learning is that not all students have access to reliable internet or even a device to complete assignments from. In fact, some students may share devices with their siblings which can create inconveniences. 

Another issue posed by distance learning is that not all students are situated in an ideal learning environment. The personal lives of students vary quite greatly from student to student and each one comes from a different background. A student should not be held accountable if they suffer academically due to a poor learning environment.

In addition to this, a major issue with distance learning during the pandemic is that the mental health of students is deteriorating rapidly. As time passes, teachers continue to assign students one assignment after another without factoring in the mental toll the pandemic has on students. Students have decreased motivation to complete work but they are still expected to work continuously week after week. The stress level of students has drastically increased due to the pressure of maintaining good grades. It’s become increasingly difficult to keep working diligently, especially when students are not learning as effectively as they would have had school been conducted in person. 

As students will be in distance learning for the foreseeable future, it’s extremely necessary that more people become aware of and acknowledge the drawbacks to this format of education.