Sleep, stress, and stagnation: Craig students experience mixed results with online learning

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Gabby Petruzzello

March 13th was the last day students were at Craig High School and April 6th was the first day of virtual learning for students. A Craig Criterion survey revealed student attitudes on quarantine, their struggles and triumphs, and their thoughts on online learning.

The #1 thing students missed about Craig was their friends and teachers. Eight of ten students checked “I miss my friends” for their quarantine experience. While some students cynically said nothing, others missed everything as expressed by Caedyn Wells who said, “Well where do I start, first I’ve missed a concert for my album that was supposed to be April, 15th and in general I miss my wonderful teachers Mrs. Fry and Mrs. Cosette. All together I miss spending my senior year at this great school.”

Other students have struggled with their academics and the transition to online learning. One student pointed out that there is no support for students who are struggling and that it’s especially difficult for students with anxiety to ask teachers for help. Many students miss the lack of a structured environment with online learning.

“I normally just sleep all day and then get up and do school. It’s been hard with the new routine and now I don’t have any motivation to do school because we aren’t going to have a ceremony,” reflected one student glumly.

Many students are finding the assignments to be either too much work or difficult to complete without teacher support. Some teachers are assigning

“It’s all pretty boring or hard. I get behind on stuff because there are too many assignments when you get one every day from each class. It would be better if we got Fridays off to help keep caught up or if we had our first two classes on Monday then the other two Tuesday then go back to the first two Wednesday and then the second two Thursday then Friday off to get caught up if needed,” said one student.

As for Physical Education, many students find the logs pointless and believe that they do not hold students accountable for doing anything. One student expressed that it feels pointless because kids are not active or even have the motivation to be active in this time of quarantine. 

“I think gym is kind of pointless. All we have to do is log our activity for the day, but there is no proof that we actually did anything. We could have been sitting on the couch all day, but as long as we say that we ran 5 miles, we get credit,” added one student.

Only a few students see online learning as more flexible and enjoyable.

One student commented, “Honesty, I love online learning a lot more. I can go at my own pace and do work independently. It doesn’t hurt that I can stay in sweats all day either.”

Seniors are typically continuing with their TC and AP classes to get college credit, as well as the required credits to graduate like a fourth year of English.

“I’m doing all of them because I thought it would be good to finish my senior year with everything, but I’m starting to regret it now because there is a lot of homework every week and the classes have started to get tiresome and all about homework,” said one senior.

Although a majority of students wrote that classes are boring or difficult, 41% of students rated their classes to be 3/5 (okay) and 41% of students rated their classes at 4/5 or even 5/5. Only 18% of students rated their classes as horrible.

Students are missing the daily activities, from SPOTS, art and band to senior handprints, Prom, and sport’s seasons.

One student sums it up, saying, “I am missing out on sports, finishing time with the seniors, missing band concerts and biting into apples for lunch each day along with walking the halls and seeing the colorful walls along with my clubs, making me worry about my friends who I don’t have contact with. II miss the shop classes and weird teacher conversations and competitive Gimkits and being pressured under time to actually finish stuff instead of just procrastinating on it and getting away with it. I miss the inside jokes I shared with my friends and writing paper notes, or the breeze that passes when you enter the field house to start walking for gym- Friday after school open libraries to work in or talk in, and not just eating lunch in my room every day- and most of all- the variety of food I used to have at Craig.”

As for quarantine, 56% of students are enjoying extra free time, 54% saying they are sleeping a lot, 49% are experiencing stress from quarantining, and 9% jokingly checked “Where is the toilet paper?” 

Students have tried to find ways to keep busy through work, academics, games, and athletics, but still find themselves going a little stir crazy, especially with the excess of family time. Many students have taken advantage of the extra free time to exercise, while some try to fill their time with Netflix, video games, and sleep. Some have taken this time to learn new hobbies and skills

“I don’t really have much to do, so I spend most of my time watching Netflix and sleeping, which any other time would be great, but now that it’s all I have been doing for over a month, it’s quite annoying now,” said one student.

These past weeks of quarantine have led to struggles and triumphs for Craig students, while they learn new skills or find themselves sleeping more and watching a lot of Netflix, trying to adapt to the changes this pandemic brings.