Continuing university in a pandemic: it is not normal

It has been 4 months since the official nation-wide lockdown. Over 4 months since lectures, tired morning coffees and what we used to know as our normal daily life. Heading into the end of July, people have become used to the changes; yet, still nothing is normal about this at all.

Online learning has been an interesting experience. It isn’t only because of the absence of physical practical sessions and lectures or daily campus trips. It’s rather a series of realizations that makes one appreciate the opportunities we are given everyday that we take for granted.

Although we have been given the utmost privilege in a well-structured and resourceful online learning experience, one cannot deny that it is not the same as in person face-to-face learning. You begin to realize that interpersonal interaction during lectures, being able to ask questions face-to-face and learning through practical demonstrations are almost irreplaceable to lecture recordings. Additionally, having a social structural group where group tutorials and projects allows space for further learning is absent during this time. Lack of physical social interaction has made the process of learning rather more difficult than expected.

As online learning still continues, I think it is important to appreciate the interactions we have on a daily basis and the value of face-to-face learning opportunities. Especially, even if it means complaining about lack of sleep, in hindsight, it is still something I miss when done with a group of close friends in the same environment.

Inae Kim

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