January 31, 2023

The sound of an alarm blared into my ears, bringing me to consciousness. The urge to rush and get ready for school coursed through my mind and body when I saw the time was nearing 8 a.m. But then, a realization came about as to why the alarm was even set too close to my scheduled first class: It has been over a year since society transitioned from the normal to the new.
With a few more minutes to calm the rather nostalgic rush, I gave into my thoughts of the then and now:
7:50 a.m. From rushing to get to the university’s Centennial Building and thankfully, just up to the second floor of the H building, it’s now a matter of Internet speed just to get to class in time. Some experience traffic at the main roads leading to the bustling city proper then. Now, some experience Internet traffic.
Then? Now? Still the usual: may it being present, but sometimes absent-minded, or cutting it close to being late, attendance is a must in order not to miss out on communication theories, concepts, and technical know-hows.
7:54 a.m. From stopping by Kubo, the university’s food house, to get a quick powerup from the variety of budget meals, it’s now stopping by the kitchen, to the fridge, and get whatever is available and edible. Some professors allow cups of coffee or even a snack or two in the room then, and for some who don’t, we try to be discreet with our food and drinks then. Now, as long as being on-cam is not required, rushing meals or getting caught is the least of our worries.
Then? Now? Still the usual: we energize ourselves at times for another day’s worth of brainstorming, planning, production, and editing of performance-based outputs.
7:57 a.m. From crowding at the lobby and the hallway, and chatting amongst small groups between friends, classmates, and even schoolmates, it’s now a seemingly endless list of different group chats depending on the number of subjects, groupworks, and the usual circle of friends. Some maximize the time at the lobby to either charge electronics varying from smartphones to camera batteries and laptops, or resting or rushing some last-minute schoolwork then. Now, some maximize the time to either take a break with a new tab for a leisure scroll through the Internet, or to multitask with another unfinished activity due soon.
Then? Now? Still the usual: we do activities that enable us to enhance our knowledge base, talents, and skills as an individual, and to enhance our teamwork and rapport as a creative team.
7:59 a.m. From the usual – normal – face-to-face routine to the new online learning, in just a year, the new became the normal. Simply enter the classroom on time, take a seat, and wait for the others then. Now, it’s clicks or taps, types, mutes mic, disables camera, and finally joins GMeet.
Then? Now? Still the usual: always eager to learn more.
8 a.m. From learning within the four-cornered classroom to getting education from the four-cornered screen of technology at the comfort and safety of our own, then? Now? There’s not much of a difference for me: Still doing my best at school. Still learning, enhancing my skills, and maximizing my now limited creativity. Still a BA Communication student surviving another school year.
Some things stayed the same despite the prominent adjustments that happened in a year. It’s just a matter of mindset too as I remind myself:
It’s just a change of venue. (HANNA JOYCE GWYNETH L. RACCA)