TALES FROM HUMBER: Returning to in-person learning beneficial for my wellbeing

Mar 15, 2022 | OP-ED, Tales From Humber

After spending more than a year and a half mostly learning virtually, I can finally find some success again.

But it could be short-lived.

Most classes in our winter semester have returned to in-person at Humber College this month as most COVID-19 restrictions being lifted. That is welcome news for me. The first seven weeks of the winter term were completely online because of the threat of Omicron.

I anticipate this return can help me boost my marks in the classes that I am taking in the Journalism program this semester.

My grades have been mainly parked below where I expected them to be after these three and a half semesters. I recall receiving great grades that fulfilled my expectations in only six classes.

My virtual learning space located in a bedroom of my home on Sunday, March 13.
The virtual learning space in the bedroom of Andrew Raghunandan in Brampton. Students returned to the classroom after Reading Week. But now they face job action by professors. Photo credit: Andrew Raghunandan

While online, I faced many distractions that hindered me from achieving success. I fell asleep during some lectures for a long time. I would sleep in and join in my morning classes half an hour to an hour late, or I would be on my phone thinking that listening to the professors speaking would be good enough for me.

There were times when I skipped classes and would go about my day, opting to watch recorded lectures later on the online class platform Blackboard. But not the lectures would be recorded or if they were, posted, leaving me feeling in deep trouble for skipping the content, and I would reach out to my classmates on social media for help. And I would also email my professors who responded to my questions and concerns. But what I’m saying is that my learning experience at home will have been better if I had been committed to attending all the classes on time by going to bed early and shutting down all distractions.

I also should have canceled or postponed all my plans for the day until the evenings so I can have my mornings and afternoons for school work.

This past fall, I returned to in-person learning on campus for the first time during the pandemic. It was the first time, for me, to be at North campus as I am a second-year student and my entire first year was spent learning online. However, it wasn’t fully back to normal on-site learning just yet.

It’s was a hybrid format where we learn a few days on campus, and some at the comfort of our homes. When attending the in-person classes, I was able to engage more in class discussions and ask the professors questions directly when needed.

My final grades for the classes I took in-person improved over on-line class grades. It’s not anecdotal. The proof is in my transcript.

I am entering the second half of this semester and I hope my grades will improve while in class. It also depends on my willingness to study hard and discipline myself. I feel I am speaking on behalf of thousands of students at Humber who were left in the dark and forced to do something that most of them didn’t want.

But the return to class may be stalled yet again, this time because Ontario’s college professors could be going on strike this Friday. Not again!