Logging out of online learning

6 November 2020

By Sunny H

Getting my A level results this year was disappointing. In the time of COVID 19, it just felt so insignificant in the context of the world around me. The grades in themselves were OK, and I am very lucky that they were. They got me into Durham University who had also set a low offer for me earlier in the year. The opening of the envelope and seeing the letters standing to attention was just not very exciting, it seemed something insignificant to the time to be happy about. ‘I got into Durham’ ‘yeah, but you didn’t do the exams, do you think you would have if you did the exams?’ Truth be told, I don’t know. I don’t have a crystal ball.

The time between opening the envelope of destiny and opening the door to my accommodation was awkward, filled with guilt and quite simply it was exhausting. The media was filled with titles of ‘pointless gap year’ and ‘low capacity at uni’; it was scary to think that I had to decide between a dead-end year with no travelling options and an oversubscribed series of zoom call lectures. After not thinking much at all, I opted for the zoom university experience, after all, it’s better than sitting at home in front of a TV scene all day, right?

Apparently not, as it was just an exchange of one screen for another.

Online education.

Need I say more? The internet which was once used to keep us all connected has never felt so isolating. Logging into a seminar filled with black screens instead of faces, empty unanswered questions from lecturers who are trying their best. It’s just too awkward to speak up, especially when you do and accidentally interrupt someone without realising because of the inevitable lag of student hall WiFi being drained by hundreds of Macbook typers and Ipad scrawlers.

An online freshers week, not a single friend was obtained through the use of zoom, socials with alcohol were simply depressing, it’s all fun and games having a drink on a video chat until everyone signs off for the day and you’re sitting alone in your room, dizzy, desolate and depressed by the reality off the screen.

COVID19 owes a lot to the students of 2020, the least it can do is allow a more interactive education, away from the screens that we have become so accustomed to.

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