Posts Tagged ‘online classes’

The Effect of Covid-19, Remote Learning and What Comes Next

Friday, September 10th, 2021

It’s strange to think about how much I longed for home during my first year of college, which ironically ended up being where I finished my junior and senior years. I was back home for spring break when it was announced that BU would be going remote. I subsequently made a quick day trip to Boston to pick up some essentials from my dorm and left the rest, assuming that I would be coming back to the city. I did eventually step foot in Boston, but it was for my graduation, approximately a year and a half later.

BU Commencement 2021: Over in a Flash | BU Today | Boston University
BU’s Commencement for the Class of 2021
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I have mentioned before that studying abroad in London made me want to really explore Boston and take advantage of being in a city, so I was definitely sad that my time in Massachusetts was cut short. However, I assumed that remote learning would be manageable because, as I’ve also previously stated, I’m more of an introvert and I believed that taking classes over Zoom would be no big deal.

Gradually, though, taking classes virtually began to wear me down and I started realizing all the small things that I missed from being on campus. I missed being able to talk with my classmates before and after class. I missed walking around Boston and Brookline. I missed going to various spots on campus to do my coursework. I missed not staring at a screen for hours on end.

View from the 26th floor of StuVi2
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The pandemic and remote learning gave me a new appreciation for all the interactions and activities that I took for granted while on campus. It also made me extremely grateful for all the opportunities and stuff I did before the world seemingly came to a halt. 

Even though I was taking classes remotely, I did step outside of my comfort zone with the classes I took, particularly in my final semester. Before then, I had certainly taken courses that forced me to do so. For instance, I had classes that were small and discussion-based, meaning I had to actively participate and voice my opinions, which was challenging for me. I was constantly nervous about not saying something smart, like my classmates, or fumbling over my words. There were some professors who liked to randomly call on students to answer questions and that was even scarier because I was in fear of being called on and not knowing what to say.

The classes that I took in my final semester were different, though, in that the major projects were tasks I had never done before. One class required me to make a video and I needed to assist in writing a script, and maybe do some acting, for another class. I had never edited a video, written a script, or acted. When I saw the syllabi for both of these classes, part of me was tempted to drop out of both. 

However, I decided to take the classes because my time at BU was ending, so I had to seize the chance to take courses that seemed interesting, or else regret not doing so. Also, making a video meant learning and refining a new skill, which would be a nice break from binging shows in my downtime (something I was admittedly doing a lot during the pandemic). And script writing would allow me to practice my creative writing abilities, since I did mostly analytical writing assignments in college. As for the acting, I could take comfort in the fact that I wouldn’t be doing it in-person. 

I actually really liked taking those classes since they were unlike anything I had taken before. A lot of the people in my classes were amateurs in video editing and script-writing as well and the professors weren’t expecting us to be experts. Therefore, knowing that what I created didn’t have to be perfect, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was able to enjoy the classes more and try new things before graduating.

If you are looking to step outside your comfort zone, I absolutely recommend checking out classes outside the discipline you are studying in or courses that require you to try something new. It’ll help you expand your horizons, pick up additional skills and perhaps pique your interest in a subject you never considered before. There are deadlines to drop out of a class, so if you show up on the first day and decide it’s not your cup of tea, you aren’t forced to keep drinking it for the rest of the semester. 

Now that I’ve graduated, I’m looking at multiple master’s programs. I had applied to one and was offered admission, but after deliberation and conversations with friends and family, I decided not to accept. Ultimately, I felt like the program I applied to wasn’t right for me. Now, without the stress of college, I’ve been able to research different programs and really think about what I want to do for graduate school. Of course, it is a bit frustrating not currently knowing exactly what direction my life is going in, yet I am glad to have this small break from school after all of the pressure I placed on myself to succeed academically in high school and college. Besides, I want to be certain that I pick a master’s program that I will be happy with instead of just rushing to finish my graduate studies. 

Just to summarize:

  • Attempt to make the most of your time in college and take a minute to appreciate the little things that we take for granted.
  • Selecting an interesting class can be a good way to step out of your comfort zone, so don’t be afraid to search for courses outside your discipline.  
  • It’s alright not to go straight into graduate school after finishing your undergraduate studies. It’s fine to take your time. Everyone’s paths through life are unique.

By: Monica Manzo

Monica Manzo recently completed her undergraduate studies at Boston University where she majored in English and minored in History. Currently, she is planning on applying for some masters programs in publishing. In her free time, she can be found either reading or adding to her pile of unread books.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


Missing Life in New York (Especially the Pho)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

Displacement, disappointment, dissatisfaction. It’s fair to say that I am not the only one experiencing these feelings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mid-semester of my sophomore year I was sent home to do online learning like many other students this past Spring. The virus took everyone by surprise, but its impact on college students is a unique one. For many students, learning at home is not only difficult but also dismal. No longer on campus, one misses out on the most vital aspects of college – lively discussions with peers, spending time with friends, and the chance to explore the city. Miles from New York, missing my friends from NYU and struggling to stay on the ball with classwork, I’ve found that this semester cannot be described with words. Instead imagine a very deep, very tired-sounding sigh. 

But I’m trying to change that.

After a particularly busy past week (two novels to read, an outline for a paper due, and starting on a presentation for Spanish class, so on), I decided I’d order Vietnamese this weekend, pho in particular. We are nearing the end of the semester which means papers, projects, and other major assignments are flooding in, all due within days of each other. Food of course being my favorite way of treating myself, I let myself have at it. Having recently moved from home to across the state, I’m not familiar with many restaurants where I am now, but I’ve been craving pho and have been on the search for a reliable pho restaurant. As it turns out, one wouldn’t expect it but the second-best pho I can now claim that I’ve had is from a small eatery in the food court of a nearby mall, Pho Kitchen. Second-best. 

Maybe I’m lying a bit to myself. To be completely objective – the pho was absolutely delicious. I sat in the food court, mask placed to the side and socially distanced (which was a good thing, or people probably would have heard me slurping up the noodles and soup), and added a little Hoisin sauce and sriracha to the broth, mixing it in alongside the noodles, beef, onion, and cilantro. I squeezed a lime over it to top it off, stirred a little more, then dug in. The beef was perfectly tender, the broth flavorful and warm, and the noodles not too hard or too soft. All and all, completely satisfying. Why was it second-best then, you may be wondering?

It wasn’t PhoBar. PhoBar, which my friend Leslie introduced me to in our Freshman year, is located very close to Washington Square Park and was conveniently only a little ways away from our residence hall. I had had a cold and at that time it was just slightly more socially acceptable to go out to eat when visibly sick. We sat at a shared table and having only tried pho once before and disliking it, I wasn’t sure what to order or how to feel. 

“Just get the classic beef pho,” Leslie said, and I followed her orders.

Classic Beef Pho from PhoBar in New York City.

It turned out to be the cheapest item on the menu, which made it even better, but truthfully, it couldn’t have possibly gotten better. Even through my congestion and with what little ability I had left to taste, I was floored by the flavors of every part of the soup. Very quickly, just after a few bites and sips of broth, I became a passionate fan of pho. Leslie and I returned to PhoBar frequently after that and it is still one of our favorites.

When I was craving pho last week then, maybe it was more than just the soup I was yearning for. After all, I thoroughly enjoyed the meal I had, so all that was really missing was the fact that I wasn’t at PhoBar with Leslie. I wasn’t in New York.

Pho here will never be as good as pho in New York for that very reason. And on the same lines, online classes will never be as fulfilling as going to class on campus. Life in New York will always feel at least slightly superior to life anywhere else.

One could say that feeling discontent with this semester would be inevitable due to all that is happening, namely the pandemic. But in another attempt to try to grin and bear it, no matter how tiring it may be to keep grinning, I am doing my best to push through online classes and keep up with what is due. However, this is undoubtedly difficult. A few friends of mine themselves are going through rough patches and find themselves unmotivated. If you find yourself in the same position, here are a few helpful tips from U.S. News on dealing with online classes: 

  • Form a Schedule – Oftentimes having a solid structure to your day can help with keeping things in line and therefore getting more work done. Try writing out or printing a schedule, hang it up somewhere you will see it, and do your best to adhere to it throughout the day. 
  • Find Your Space – If you have a very busy home, it’s best to find a quiet area in your house to minimize distractions. If this isn’t possible, try going to your local library or somewhere you can get away from whatever may be pulling you away from your work.
  • Eye on the Prize – It may be difficult, I know for a fact that it is very difficult for a few friends of mine, but it is important to have a goal you want to reach and therefore a reason to get yourself to do work. “I’m just trying to get this degree,” is something a friend of mine says all the time, and I think it’s a simple but important mantra for many of us to take up during this time.
  • Stay in Touch – As for missing out on social interaction, use FaceTime or something of the like to keep in touch with friends from college. My friends and I use an app to send video updates to each other and it’s proven to help us a lot. Not only do we get to hear about what’s going on in each other’s lives, but it’s nice to see the faces and hear the voices of the people who I lived with for almost a year, who I care about deeply.

For more information, click the link above. Keep in mind that these things may not come easily or could be difficult to implement in your life. This is perfectly okay. It is more about the effort you put into doing better than how far you may actually get. I myself feel that it’s rare to have an actual productive day, but when I do I let myself savor the moment. It’s these moments that help me get through the semester. When you have that day (and you will), make sure you savor the moment, too.

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By: Anaïs Nuñez-Tovar

Anaïs is currently a Junior at New York University and is majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing. Her goal for the future is to work in the publishing industry and write on the side. She loves to write and read poetry and fiction in her spare time.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.