Learning from a Distance

Hello everyone! I’m Jennifer Quiroz, an intern at The Practice Space and I’m here to talk about the new world of going to school virtually. Hopefully my experience and advice will help you throughout these unforeseen times as you navigate though your e-learning. 

The transition to online learning was very difficult for me. I didn’t feel like I would be able to learn as much and as effectively as I’d hoped. As a film production major, it was a difficult pill to swallow, since most of the learning is done through hands on, collaborative experiences. I also struggled with a lack of motivation as well as feelings of laziness which caused me to become unproductive at times. 

However, aside from our academics, the pandemic has affected far more areas of our lives. I find it important to check in with yourself frequently during the school year — How are you feeling? What are your worries? What can you do to ease the stress and anxieties you are facing? It is important not to be hard on yourself when unpacking your emotions. We may be quick to judge ourselves for “taking the day off”, but we are going through an unprecedented time that will bring up emotions we aren’t used to. We should honor those feelings. Personally, I have experienced a lot of fear and shock about what is going on in the world that I found school assignments irrelevant. This inevitably made it much more difficult to get back into the flow of “regularly scheduled programming.” However, with time and with addressing personal issues, I slowly started to integrate myself back into school affairs with the help of deadlines. I found the following very helpful: Routine! Daily Goals! & Initiative! 

Our environment and mentality has a huge say in how we execute our daily functions, so make sure to create a positive outlook and reform your environment to any extent you can to make it best suited to foster your learning. Put away your phone, list out your daily goals and get to it! Everything is far from normal but you have the opportunity and power to take steps that will help you reach a new “normal” for yourself. Don’t lose sight of your intentions and let them guide you towards your goals. Tap into the last ounce of motivation you have and use it to help you overcome the first strenuous “mound.” Go on walks, exercise, watch a quick episode of whatever show you like to clear your mind. Make sure to reward yourself when you complete tasks to keep your motivation going. And Repeat. 

I would also recommend reaching out and speaking to your teachers! Make sure to have contact with at least 2 classmates so you can help one another. I really leaned on setting meetings with my professors and classmates in order to ease my stress about fully understanding the content. Being isolated for so long, it is important to combat feelings of loneliness and detachment from the community you spent so long building. I also suggest reaching out to your friends and people you care about to help one another emotionally and give one another motivation to get through these difficult times.

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