Zoom University

I have just finished my third week of online school for the summer 2020 semester. Although I don’t have lectures on zoom as the internet convinced me I would, I still thought this title would be nice and catchy. I’m actually just paying full tuition for powerpoints with audio attached. Which isn’t per se the worst, just definitely not worth full tuition, but that’s a topic for another time.

I have three major assignments due next week, I wanted to finish some things this weekend so I wouldn’t be super stressed about finishing them right before the due date next week, but here I am sitting in bed browsing on TikTok and listening to music. Since school is online and there won’t be exams, all my professors have taken the liberty of giving us weekly assignments. So I actually have more work than I would have in a normal semester, which is just great. I’m sure all students can share this same sentiment that I have, which is that this sucks and I have absolutely no motivation to do work.

During the normal school year, I am always in the library or at cafes. I simply cannot do work at home. I have conditioned myself to be productive the moment I sit down at the library or at my favourite cafes. When you are a student, your thoughts are constantly interrupted by “Did I forget to finish any assignments?” and “I shouldn’t be relaxing right now I have so much work to do” and “What’s the next assignment that I should be worrying about?”. Being a student encompasses all aspects of your life, and invades all thoughts. By creating a physical separation between work space (ie. the library) and home space, I was able to clear my head. When I was in the library I was in work mode and I had no problem grinding out work, and when I was home I didn’t feel bad for relaxing and wasn’t constantly thinking about my next assignment. With school being online, I don’t have that physical separation, and it’s very hard for me to focus on doing work when my mind is telling me that its “home time” meaning relax time.

The previous semester had the option of simply taking a CR/NR for their classes. Meaning that the classes were simply pass or fail and there would be no numerical grade in their transcript from that semester. I understand that the pandemic happened in the middle of their semester and they had to adapt quick, but I wish that the same would be applied to this semester as it is still difficult to do work at home.

For my program, I must maintain a 75 average to pass. Which is a pretty high average, considering most other programs only require you to pass with a 50. If you know me personally you would know that I complain about this at least 20 times every semester and are probably sick of hearing it. But, I do think at a time in our current global situation, maintaining a 75 seems pretty ridiculous. With COVID-19 and the growing BLM protests, Hong Kong protests, and just overall everything going on in current events, I do personally find it hard to concentrate when I consistently have the urge to check the news or twitter to be updated.

I understand that as a student, school is our lives. I have the privilege of only having to focus on my studies and not on whether or not I will get shot for going to the grocery store or whether or not I can afford groceries because my parents got laid off. I am insanely privileged, but others are not. There are so many things going on in the world right now that are way more important than school, and university professors don’t seem to understand that. Who knows, maybe some do, but mine definitely don’t seem to be taking it into consideration.

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