Virtual Learning Has Challenges, Benefits for Students


Vashti Maclin

Students meet through Microsoft Teams in their virtual classes.

Lilliann Gasche-Payne and Vashti Maclin

As the virus has continued to spread, the desire to stay inside and away from others has risen. Schools are respecting this wish by offering students the opportunity to do their classes online with laptops provided by the school. With the fear of possibly being exposed to the virus, many students chose this option. Online student Harli Fine said, “Online school for me has been a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s definitely affected my mental health. I never realized how much I enjoyed being around other people until every source of interaction was stripped away.” As some thought the option to go to virtual school would be fun and easy, it has caused a lot more stress than ever before for many students. “Online school is a hundred times more stressful for me because when you’re surrounded by school, even at home, you find it really hard to step away and not spend all of your time working on assignments,” Fine said. With online schools being the new norm, students are finding it harder to separate school from normal at-home life, leading to a decrease in mental health because of the constant stressor. Although it can be seen as a negative thing, Harli believes that “online school can be very beneficial for some people, but it’s important to still set aside and spend time with friends so you don’t seclude yourself from the world completely.” 


Due to the seriousness of the virus and it’s unknown consequences, if someone has tested positive for Covid-19 or shows symptoms, they (and anyone who could’ve been in contact with them) is put on quarantine for 14 days or so. One of these students who had been exposed to the virus was Christopher Vasquez, and his experience was seemingly easy compared to Harli’s. “I was getting really bored and kinda lonely after a while but I felt free to work by myself and not by anyone’s schedule […] I wasn’t super stressed because I could get work done. The only stress I got was wondering if the teachers got what I sent or if I actually did it right.” Students put on quarantine follow the regular bell schedule, and may be put on a live Microsoft Teams meeting on the teacher’s laptop during class, so it’s almost as if they’re still present at school. Although this seemed to be a little easier, Christopher had his own struggles with it, as any student would. “It was a good thing doing the work at my own pace, but I feel like I learn much better in a classroom than by myself”, leaving him with an undecided opinion on whether or not he likes it better than in person learning.