Despite the hardships that can come with remote delivery, I can say from my fall semester experience that I prefer online classes.
Currently, there is a debate among MUN students about whether or not we should be attending on-campus classes next semester.
If a vaccine is made available to the public in the new year, this may be possible. Barring that, I don’t think it would be appropriate for MUN to open its campus to its students without major adjustments made to accommodate social distancing.
Even though online courses pose a host of new difficulties for some students, I prefer them to attending lectures on campus for many reasons.
Straight up comfort
There’s always somewhere comfortable to sit at home.
MUN campus has one major flaw – there is almost nowhere to sit that offers any kind of back support or comfort. Some of the classroom desks are bad enough, but if I have a break between classes and need to find somewhere comfortable to sit and do schoolwork, it is nearly impossible to do so.
By the end of an eight-hour day at MUN, my back is aching.
Online classes save a lot of time.
On a typical day of classes on campus, I would estimate that I spend about two hours in transportation to and from campus, 60 minutes looking for somewhere to sit and at least 30 minutes crossing the campus to get to and from lectures.
“I feel more secure and safe at home.”
If you add that up and then consider that when attending MUN from home, I am saving approximately 3.5 hours that I can spend on completing assignments and studying.
That may not seem like a lot of time, but for me, it is a crucial amount that helps to reduce my everyday stress.
At home, I have more nutritious options when I get hungry.
On campus, there are a number of unhealthy food options offered. I always bring a packed lunch, but my options should I get hungry beyond that are not often very nutritious.
With a food court packed with students seeking greasy and sugar-filled foods and vending machines stuffed with snack foods and sugary drinks, it is safe to say that staying home and having the ability to seek healthy snacks when I get hungry is a big advantage for me, personally.
Less COVID-19 stress
I can only imagine being on campus right now, wearing a mask despite the heat in the MUNnels and trying my hardest to keep my distance from others.
In some class settings, especially in smaller classrooms, there is no such thing as personal space.
This has always been a source of stress for me, but if I were to attend on-campus classes now, with the weight of my family’s health on my shoulders, I think that the responsibility would be too much.
I feel more secure and safe at home.
MUN is not made for social distancing. Between standing shoulder-to-shoulder with others in the tunnels, to sitting side-by-side in a small classroom, I have found that it’s impossible to avoid getting the flu each year, let alone COVID-19.
Online classes, despite everything, make my life just a little bit easier. Right now, with health stress added to other stress, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages for me.