Quarantine Life and Online Classes


Photographs courtesy of insidehighered.com

The last few weeks have been the strangest and most stressful of my educational career thus far, and I hope those feelings stay in the past. I went into the spring semester like every other student here at UIS – begrudging the fact I had to come back after the holidays but ready to end the semester ahead of the game. That all went out the door with COVID-19, and I am certain that many of the students here would sympathize with that assessment. 

Switching from in-class lecture based courses to completely online versions within two weeks was quite the culture shock. No more face-to-face reminders about classwork and projects. No more spending time with classmates – only sterile blackboard discussion boards where everyone agrees with everyone for points. No more attendance points – just excessive busy-work created to replace the time we would have spent sitting in class. Our pre-coronavirus ability to simply have a routine was a means toward stability and mental health. Now, with fully online coursework, it feels as if I have entered the wild west of college. Online classes are thought to give us the freedom to learn and work when we choose to but for a procrastinator like myself, they just end up creating anxiety for all the looming deadlines. 

Staying indoors for multiple days on end without the ability to go out and socialize with others would have been easy for me in my middle school days. But as an adult with responsibilities, the act of staying indoors and doing nothing but homework, cleaning and parenting has been emotionally and physically draining. Regardless of the fact my four-year-old son is home from preschool doing sprints down the hallway whilst screaming five hours a day, the inability to do favorite activities like shopping, going out to eat or going to the playground with my son has been upsetting. Everyday life and routine seems not to have been meant to be spent inside 24-7, and daily walks in the park aren’t making the difference I would hope. 

I do not know how to end this article. I could make a witty transition with a funny joke about how much Netflix I have been bingeing since the start of this pandemic. But I truly can’t put that figurative Band-Aid on this sh*t circumstance. I am not sure how long it will be like this. I can only hope others are coping with this severe change in routine better than I have. So keep up with your half-ass work on your assignments, enjoy the health anxiety plaguing your psyche and go ahead and watch Netflix’s Tiger King as a means to forget the fact you will probably be doing this for another few months.