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Friday, March 31, 2023


Students balance school and social life in a pandemic

Renee Josse de Lisle/The Cougar

Renee Josse de Lisle/The Cougar

As students cope with eye strain from online classes or slowly migrate from desk to bed midway through a  Zoom lecture, their school lives have changed and their social lives are changing along with it.

Students have found themselves not seeing their friends quite as often as they’d like and are learning to balance this with student life as many things go virtual during the pandemic.

In terms of student life, the transition to virtual learning came with a learning curve.

“I found the transition to be hard due to my routine being thrown off, my support system of friends no longer being around and only being in one place on the computer all the time,” said human development and family studies junior Amaya Harris.

This, on top of the regular stress that comes with school work and tests made it difficult to focus and made me very stressed out about attending school, and honestly didn’t make it as enjoyable.”

With the online format of schooling, some teachers don’t require cameras or microphones to be on during class. As a result, students often zone out or lose focus.

Finance and marketing junior Raoof Ali said he relates to this but commends his teachers for trying.

“There are a few times where I tend to zone out due to the online structure of the class, but overall, my professors have done a great job of teaching us the content and getting us to interact,” Ali said.

When students aren’t in class, they’ve spent moments learning how to manage their time better at home, something they wouldn’t have done if it wasn’t for the pandemic.

“The shift to online classes has helped me manage my time more efficiently. For example, I get to sleep in an extra hour or so which is much needed, but I still manage to finish any other tasks for that day,” Ali said. “The flexibility of being at home is very unique.”  

When it comes to social life, however, students are trying their best to make the most of this new normal. 

Harris makes sure she can have at least some meaningful social interaction every day, she said.

“I do this by making sure that I am taking some time out of my day to not only text my friends, but I also try to FaceTime at least one person each day,” Harris said.

In place of hanging out in person, psychology junior Keisjon Mosby and his friends have daily Zoom meetings to replace the feeling of hanging out on campus.

“A lot of my friends don’t necessarily live in the Houston area and we take social distancing pretty seriously,” Mosby said.

Ali meets his friends from time to time to cope with the unusual stress that school comes with nowadays, he said.

“I have met with my friends in person a few times, but we have all been quarantined and taken proper precautions such as regularly washing our hands, wearing our masks and social distancing,” Ali said.

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