The exhilarating dismissal bell, the small conversations, and the bustling hallways are all aspects of a student’s life in school. Now, millions across America are confined to their homes, attempting to accustom to an online school system. Zoom calls may now be a part of one’s daily life, but for what cost? It is a known fact that students aren’t able to return to school grounds yet, but this adjustment is leaving many worn out during school sessions.
While watching the computer screen for hours on end, I’ve found myself obsessing over my looks, as thirty heads seem to stare directly at me. I felt as if I had to further clean my background, brush my hair, and maintain good posture. A tenth grade student, Julia Czech states, “I’ve looked at my face more than ever because of zoom calls, and it’s definitely distracting me from my classes.” The tendency to look at ourselves on the camera and not other people in the call is just human behavior, and supported by many studies-such as the “How do I look?” I overcame this by changing the layout of the Zoom meeting so that I’m not able to see myself on the screen. This prevented me from further stressing out about my looks.
Furthermore, not being able to walk from class to class is contributing to demotivation and fatigue. When physical school was in session, students would climb up stairs, walk down hallways, and overall, be active. However, when students are one click away from their next class, they don’t tend to take part in any physical activity. I used to think of the breaks between my classes as a time to scroll on my phone, but I learned a way to better utilize the time; stretching. I can clear my mind using positions such as the corpse pose, standing forward fold, and the child’s pose. Not only do I feel better mentally before my classes, but I also feel physically relaxed from the tension of sitting down all day.
Finally, an aspect that online school misses out on are the short, random conversations and exchanges with classmates. These social interactions brought out the fun in school, and introduced many to their closest friends. However, in online school this is impossible because of the awkwardness and impossibility of natural conversations. To combat this issue, one chemistry teacher, Mr. Orlando, allows students to play the teamwork game Among Us, when class ends early. This allows the class to converse comfortably with other students in an exciting way. Although the games don’t last very long, this way of socializing helped me learn more about my classmates and teacher, and almost recreated the comfortable interactions I have with other students and teachers at school.
Students and teachers are trying their best to recreate the ideal learning experience even though we are all isolated. It may be difficult, and sometimes mentally straining, to engage in our online calls, but with some self-care, such as a stretch or a simple game, we can lessen the effects of online school fatigue.