Catch-22 of Being a Virtual Student

Ella Cetina, COVID Chronicles Editor

As life in Wantagh returns to normal, or at least the new normal, not all students have the ability to return to school. This new set up of online-school comes with a multitude of obstacles. Will staying at home full time hurt students not only academically, but socially, emotionally, and mentally as well?


A few months ago, had I been asked if I would rather be able to do school from home rather than physically going to school, I would have said yes in a heartbeat; this is no longer the case. From not understanding concepts in math to struggling to share ideas and concerns in class, trying to learn via Chromebook is a constant struggle. Most of the time, it feels as if you’re teaching yourself the work and just copying down notes; nothing else is being retained or absorbed. But it’s a catch twenty-two being in school; there’s a risk of getting covid-19, and of course, it’s still not full time. So you’re forced to decide what’s more important: education or health? 

However, there are numerous upsides to staying at home, less risk of getting covid-19, and, of course, sleeping in, sometimes too late. It’s certainly a more relaxed, less anxiety ridden environment, but at the same time, it just doesn’t feel like school, it feels like a sort-of lucid dream. I do enjoy being able to stay in the comfort of my pajamas, though. 


And then there’s the topic everyone dreads to talk about— mental health. Even though the stigma surrounding mental health has begun to dissolve, it’s still very apparent, but it’s something that is worth talking about, especially now. Isolation is one of the only emotions I can describe during full-online school. When you join your class via Schoology, everyone is together and you’re all alone, always, no matter the cohort day. I never thought I would have FOMO about missing school, but here we are.


Ultimately, I made the change to being a hybrid student. Staying home full time came with a lot of unbearable stress, not that being in school half the week fixes a lot of the issues I faced during full-online school, but I digress. It’s much better to be back and at least see some familiar faces.