The next normal
The Covid-19 pandemic brought us a lot of challenges, especially to us, students.
Engaging ourselves into the new normal, online classes was a whole different level of adjustment. We faced the challenge of multiple works, Internet connection, time management, self-evaluations and breakdowns. As we enter to the limited face-to-face classes, again it gave us another phase to adjust, like leaving our comfort zones, interacting with people physically after two years, self-awareness to Covid-19, adjusting to the new environment where we should strictly follow the guidelines; dorm/apartment hunt, requirements and other stuffs.
It was a new level of the usual face-to-face classes.
As a student who already experienced two months of limited face-to-face contact, it was difficult at first. It gave me paranoia that I should be aware each time I leave the house. My mindset was I should be mindful all the time because it is not just me who is prone to the virus but also I might risk my family members.
I need to sanitize my stuff everyday because they might be a vessel of the virus. Waking up early, commuting, budgeting, and anxious of being late for the 8 a.m. class were some of the troubles that I had encountered.
Before, I didn’t need to budget much since I am at home. When it came to activities and reviewing, I had all the time to go through my notes and finish my activities since we have until midnight, but now activities are submitted within the given amount of time in a class. The good thing is that the limited face-to-face classes gave us ample time to practice our skills in our own field. This was among the major concerns in the online classes – how we will follow the procedures well and how we will execute our theoretical learning to physical simulation.
Online class allowed us to see our classmates on the screen while we listen to the teacher. Other than that, there is no more interaction like the usual chikahan before and after classes in the hallways and cafeteria. Instead of a normal circle of friends laughing and fooling around, it was shifted to messenger group chats.
Questions like “May assignment ba?” “May notes ka ba?” or “May quiz ba bukas?” are the only ones that can be seen in the chats. The usual “Asan ka, tara labas tayo” became “Pa-update ako kung may activities pa. Matutulog ako since madami din akong ginawa sa bahay.”
But now I got to see some of my friends and classmates and interact with them physically. Reviewing was better because I have someone whom I can confide with, like asking questions before and after quizzes and live discussions that won’t be interrupted due to weak Internet connection.
The advantage of physical contact with those whom we are close with is that their mere presence means so much that we feel heard and comfortable in some way.
It is like re-learning the things we usually did before the pandemic. It is hard in some ways because we are not looking for ourselves but also for the people around us. Pandemic taught me how to adapt to whatever situation that I am in and to be open minded that learning can be done in our comfort zones and in the usual classroom setup.
With the new normal, there are a lot of factors we need to consider, but one thing we should have is the sense of flexibility and sensitivity. We should always be cautious about our actions, as from Newton’s third law of motion, for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction