Adjusting to in-person learning after a year of Zoom

Students mind being controlled by computer. Drawing by Hannah Toth.

Student’s mind being controlled by computer. Drawing by Hannah Toth.

Hannah Toth, Contributing Writer

Last year was difficult for many people, especially for students, as online learning was a hard adjustment. With that in the past, being in-person again has been difficult to get used to and many students once more struggle with adjusting.
Having to adapt to the changes was something most had to do quickly as Covid-19 was a new ballpark for all.

One Solon High School (SHS) student, Matthew Seifert, struggled with all the changes to the learning environment.

“The transition was tough,” Seifert said. “Once you get used to one, it’s hard to get used to the other.”

Having to swap back in-person was hard for most as students struggled to go back to the same methods of learning. Certain classes, which were easier online, were much harder back in-person. Students had to change back from the way they worked online to the more challenging ways of in-person learning. Sydney Roseman, a sophomore, has struggled with putting more time into her school work.

“The hardest adjustment is probably doing homework and studying and just making time for everything,” Roseman said. “At home, I would just finish whatever from the night before during class, but in school, you can’t do that. You have to have way better time management this year than last year.”

The change in time management brought more stress to many students. Junior Becca Hurst enjoyed the less stressful aspect of online classes.

“Not being in a comfy bed and getting to zone out when I get stressed [is something I’ll miss],” Hurst said. “It’s hard to stay focused and now I really have to, whereas before you could just text a friend if you didn’t understand something or weren’t paying attention.”

While many students enjoyed the at home aspects of learning, staff members had a lot more of a stressful experience. Solon High School teacher, Robert Northrup, found the online learning environment difficult and stressful.

“My worst nightmare that I have repeatedly is a black screen with all the students and all of them have the microphone with the line through it and no one says anything,” Northrup said. “In my class I’ll call on you. My problem is that I couldn’t tell if they were with me as I went down my lesson.”

This school year is an adjustment when compared to last year and even staff members have struggled to get used to the changes. The addition of wearing masks with a full classroom has been met with mixed emotions. From a communication standpoint, it has been difficult.

“Not being able to hear what people say because your mask covers your face [has been hard.] You know I think I’m really good at lip reading, but I can’t tell what you’re saying, and I don’t see anything but your eyes, so I don’t know if you’re happy, your sad, your whatever,” Northrup said.

Even with all the new added stressors, most students and staff agreed that being in-person again is better.

“I prefer in-person,” Seifert said. “I’m an extrovert. I need in-person social interaction to keep me going every day. Even though it’s different from pre-COVID, it’s still better than nothing.”

Students seemed to agree that even if being in person was more stressful and more work, it was better for their overall education. The decision to go back in person was received well by students who want to retain more information within their learning environment.

“Online is way easier and way more relaxed, but I would prefer in-person school,” Roseman said. “It helps me stay focused, do better in my work and socialize with friends I don’t see outside school.”