Sophomores: The Virtual Class of 2023

Being confined in our own homes, and learning at home closes the door to regular opportunities for students.

Since March 13th our world has been flipped upside down. Our world has changed drastically whether that be as an individual, as a community, as a nation, or as a globe. Eight billion individuals have been affected by this pandemic. From living our everyday lives to being quarantined in our own homes, it is unimaginable to say what has now happened to our society. 

One can say this “break” from our everyday lives is somewhat relaxing, others may say it is similar to being trapped. The changes that have transpired throughout our society have been remarkably less beneficial to students all across the nation. 

Virtual learning has changed the status quo of regular classroom education.

Individuals all across America, their lives have changed. Living in your daily life routine suddenly stops. Trips to the grocery store, going to school, attending athletic games, even hanging among your friends and distant family are all prohibited due to what has occurred The COVID-19 outbreak has brought more than just change to our society. This is a human tragedy that has a growing impact. The changes of COVID-19 have been extremely less beneficial school systems all across the nation.

On July 9th, North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper announced that the public school systems in North Carolina must remain closed until further notice. This means the start of the 2020-2021 school year will start remotely at home.  The coronavirus pandemic has taken more than we had expected. From being quarantined in our own homes, being socially distant in public, and the start of virtual learning has affected schools in many ways. 

Millions of high school students across the United States have been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. I have gotten the chance to virtually interview four sophomore students from the class of 2023 at our school. 

Many students at Panther Creek have shared similar opinions about the virtual learning environment this school year. I have gotten the opportunity to virtually interview Ashleigh Mannion. Mannion, along with many other students, states how virtual learning is not very enjoyable. “In my opinion, I believe in order for students to succeed academically, we need hands-on experiences and face to face contact between teachers and students” Mannion says. “Being in a strong developed learning environment really makes the difference between being involved in your learning and just doing the work to pass the class.”

I asked Mannion how her virtual learning environment has benefitted her. In response to my question she states “Like most students my virtual learning environment is in my room. It makes it hard to not take classes from my bed. In all honesty it is very difficult to be doing school from home” states Mannion. She further continues saying “It’s very distracting learning from home. You have other people in the house the same time as you and without a real agenda or schedule you tend to slip easily, falling into bad habits.”

““Despite the circumstances of the coronavirus, it has given me a lot of free time, allowing me to create stronger bonds with my family. It’s the perfect combination of structure and freedom.” says Riya Shah. Students all across the country share different opinions regarding virtual learning. Shah continues to state “I love how virtual learning has a much more flexible schedule than regular school, and it allows me more freedom to workout, eat, and spend time with my family.” 

Virtual learning has affected many students at Panther Creek in many different ways.

“Virtual learning has been something I have adjusted to,” says Shah. “From having close to a five month long ‘summer break’ it’s difficult to adapt to our new learning environments at home, rather than getting face to face contact with teachers and students in the classroom.”

I have gotten the opportunity to virtually interview Paige Kilmer from the class of 2023. Kilmer begins to state how virtual learning is a lot easier for her. “Virtual learning is a lot more relaxing. I can wake up later than the regular school time and I can be in my first period straight from my bed.” 

Virtual learning is the future of classroom training.

Virtual learning is an extremely different environment for many students and can affect them in many ways. Kilmer continues to say “It’s harder to focus on my schoolwork due to the amount of distractions remote learning gives you.” Not only has COVID-19 affected students’ learning environments, it has put a toll on socializing and other school activities and opportunities that are a part of our everyday lives. Kilmer stated how opportunities such as babysitting and volunteering have been more difficult for her. “Personally, the Coronavirus pandemic has affected me a lot harder. It makes babysitting and continuing my volunteer work a lot more difficult. It has closed so many opportunities for things I do throughout my life.”

Kilmer continues to state “The thought of going to sit down in a public restaurant makes me uncomfortable now, due to the amount of people. It’s unfathomable how rapidly the COVID-19 pandemic has changed my viewpoints and my life in general.”

Many sophomores I have gotten the opportunity to virtually interview continue to show the same patterns within their answers. Most have stated how the virtual learning experience is a lot easier and that they enjoy classroom instruction more than virtual learning. However, Will Casbon takes a different approach. 

I have gotten the chance to interact with sophomore, Will Casbon virtually. The first question I had asked him was his personal opinion on his virtual learning experience. Casbon stated “I personally enjoy virtual learning more than in person instruction. Having in person instruction, you don’t have these benefits like you do at home.” 

Like many other students, Casbon has stated how the virtual learning experience is a lot easier. “Virtual learning has been a lot easier for me to manage my work. One of my favorite benefits is being able to wake up for class and stay in bed with my laptop. With virtual learning it’s easier to keep track of what I have to do. I have a lot of extra time on my hands to complete my work and other tasks.”

Casbon stated how his virtual learning experience has been easier for him to concentrate. “It’s been a lot easier to concentrate being by myself while doing my work and not having any distractions. Just like anything else, there are cons to the virtual learning experience. Casbon continues to state “However, one con that I’ve had lately is accidentally falling back asleep because I’m too comfortable in my bed.”

Students all across the nation have been affected by the start of virtual learning in many different ways. These experiences are crucial to the way students learn and grow academically. Whether that be in or out of the classroom, we only have the world to save.