It has been little over a week since my school was physically closed for students, but I have already learned so much.
1. Online schooling has proven to be an invaluable experience for cultivating my personal motivation and responsibility.
For “distance learning,” the term used for learning at home, students join calls with their class and teacher following the schedule of an entire school day. Our school policy is that students only have to be on call for the beginning of a lesson to get briefed about classwork, leaving us with the rest of the lesson time to individually complete it ourselves.
In addition, distance learning has eliminated any impending exams, one of the main motivators for studying. With this, online learning has provided us with a lot of free time. But with that comes the responsibility and trust to complete our school tasks, and perhaps even strive to maintain our extracurricular commitments.
The truth is that we still have to get our work done, and that more free time and the absence of teachers to hound us are no excuse. Thus, online learning has forced me to develop my personal motivation and responsibility.
Adjusting teaching methods
2. This time of crisis has revealed the passion and willpower of those around me.
For at least a week, my school’s staff and teachers have been scrambling to learn the best ways to teach us, often being forced to completely shift their method of teaching in order to best accommodate the current situation.
At home, the driving forces of the household work incessantly to ensure that we have everything we need and are minimizing the risk of contracting the virus. I’m sure the lingering scent of alcohol disinfectant is something very familiar to us all now. Most important, of course, are the doctors, nurses and health workers who risk their lives every day for our well-being and safety, while everyone else remains safely in the confines of their home.
3. From a shallow perspective, the school cancellation was fun—it meant I could sleep later, wake up later and virtually go anywhere I wanted when I should have been at school.
However, I quickly realized that this mindset was not only ignorant toward those suffering, but harmful. Staying home is a social responsibility, even though COVID-19 doesn’t seem to infect young people. Going out or simply not remaining prudent puts us at risk of acquiring it, which puts everyone around us at risk.
Appreciating our privilege
4. We must appreciate the privilege of (and perhaps mitigate our) panic buying, the bulk purchase of goods in fear of shortage or future inaccessibility during a crisis.
Online, various pictures depict shoppers fighting to stock up as much as they can on whatever they can. This leads me to ask the question: Should we allow our fear to overcome ourselves with violence and greed? Stocking up and being prepared is sensible, but buying 300 rolls of toilet paper, 150 bottles of rubbing alcohol, and 70 cans of soda definitely isn’t.
Panic buying depletes resources, and those who can afford only the bare minimum cannot even acquire their basic needs. Moreover, flaunting one’s excessive bulk purchases is disrespectful to those who cannot afford the “buying” part of panic buying.
5. I have realized how extremely lucky I am to be at home, safe, with my family and still in school.
For many, the lockdown has left them vulnerable on the streets. Even in America, Harvard University students were forced to move out of campus in order to decongest the school community.
For many, the lockdown has separated families, so they will not be able to see each other for at least a month.
It has also stopped many from going to work or school, financially or educationally setting them back for an unknown period of time. From this, I have learned how fortunate I am to be at home, with my family and with online schooling.
My self-motivation, respect for those around me or appreciating my privilege—the COVID-19 lockdown has taught me so much, and continues to teach me new things every day.
For now, I urge everyone to use this time as an opportunity for self-reflection, so that when we return to our normal lives, we will be more grateful, concerned and compassionate. —CONTRIBUTED