In 2016 I volunteered to go to college online—and I loved it. I didn’t have to drive anywhere or sit through stupid questions that were answered in the teacher’s description if the person had been listening.
But now an entire generation is being forced to take some form of online classes, and a lot of them are struggling. I would too.
If RMCAD had told me that taking classes online meant I had to attend a zoom meeting every day I would have failed and probably dropped out. Thankfully, RMCAD had an intuitive platform, developed for online learning. (You might have already read about it in my post…) Either way, online learning didn’t involve the worst part of in-person education: sitting through stupid lectures and repeated questions.
Most schools, however, seem to be taking that away. And many in this generation are falling behind.
Are you failing your online classes? I’m writing this specifically for you. The world is watching and wondering, “Will this upcoming generation be okay?”
I want to encourage you. Don’t worry about what we think. Take off the pressure and remember:
You are smart.
You are capable of a great many things.
You can totally handle online classes. It’s not too difficult and we’re probably not expecting too much. But it is different from what you’ve always known.
Online learning is not for the weak. It requires will-power, dedication, and other things I already talked about. Most people get to decide if they have what it takes to be an online student or not. You didn’t get that privilege.
You’re right, it’s not fair.
It’s not fair that the whole world has been shook to its core. But that’s where we’re at. Whether you scrape by or thrive in this situation is up to you. And I know you can thrive, because I know someone who figured out how to move from a straight-C student in high school to graduating with a 3.94 in college. Me.
In high school I used my grades to show which teachers I liked, and (sadly for me) there weren’t many. Throughout my 4 years I was a mostly-C’s student with a spattering of A’s and B’s on the rare occasion that the subject was interesting or the teacher was fair.
Thankfully in college I took a different approach. Whether I like the subject or teacher the grade sticks with me and has no effect on the teacher or curriculum. It helps that in college you have some control over what subjects you study, but I still had to wade through the boring fundamental courses. Since it was online, it was mostly reading and watching clips. I might have died if I had to actually sit there in person…
For me, attending online classes was a blessing because I could carve out time to work on assignments I cared about and I didn’t have to sit through long lectures where teachers and my peers made judgements about character based on appearances.
Maybe your school doesn’t have a good system in place for online learning. You may have to take your education into your own hands and use websites like khan academy or others to dive into topics that do or don’t interest you.
(My favorite Khan Academy course: Pixar in a box – Storytelling.)
I encourage you: find your own bright side. What is happening right now that you get to do that you couldn’t do before? Do you get to spend more time at home experimenting with baking? Do you suddenly have a mini-jungle in your room? Maybe you’re able to lay around with your pet or just grow with family.
Whatever it is that becomes your light, remember it. And remember that this truly interesting and challenging time can help you push yourself, believe in yourself, and become who you were created to be.