In Part One, Lorna Beegan spoke about how Genazzano FCJ College adjusted to the new normal created by the pandemic. Now in Part Two, Prue Spencer, a student at Genazzano FCJ College studying Year 11, shares how the lockdown influenced her school life and goals for the future.
Schools across the world have transitioned to an online learning environment because of the restrictions caused by Coronavirus. How did you cope without the daily social interaction of school life?
It was really hard not being at school, specifically because of the lack of connection with my peers and teachers. Although we had discussion over Zoom, and my friendship group hosted Zoom game and film nights, it was not the same as being in the physical presence of them. I tried to deal with this lack of interaction by being with my family and doing fun activities, such as walking or playing board games. My group’s online game and film nights meant we could interact with each other and have some fun! Although this didn’t account for the lack of daily social interaction, it meant we could still communicate and laugh with each other through technology.
How has the ‘new normal’ of online learning influenced how you study? Is it more difficult or simpler?
At first, it was simpler. I was being very organised and efficient. I was able to optimise study time because I didn’t have to waste time walking to classes or having a long lunch. I practiced time management and ways to stay motivated, including sticking to a strict routine each day. However, by the end of the home learning period, I was less motivated and found it more difficult to study. I think this was due to the monotony of quarantine. Because it felt like home learning would continue forever, I wasn’t feeling motivated. Nevertheless, the motivation and time management skills I picked up during the start of home learning have very positively affected how I study. In fact, I found I was more efficient and was studying harder when I returned back to school in Term 2. I believe this is purely because of the skills I developed during the home learning period, and that I was excited and grateful that school had returned.
Image provided with permission by Genazzano FCJ College.
Do you feel as though your academic progress will be affected by these changes and has this time made you consider planning for an alternative career path?
I feel the home learning period helped my academic process. Although it was hard to study from home due to the lack of connection with teachers and peers, it gave me the opportunity to practice time management and find ways to stay motivated. These are lifelong skills that I have picked up and I noticed their impact on my learning when I returned back to school. The time has not made me consider an alternate career path, it just confirmed that I don’t want to be in an office job where I sit at a desk all day in a lonely office! I want to work in an environment where I can travel and communicate with other people – things I took for granted when I wasn’t in quarantine.
How has the experience changed your relationships with those around you (family and friends) while adjusting to the lockdown restrictions?
I have become extremely close with my sister. We were close before the lockdown restrictions, however we have grown much closer during this time. We had a routine together in the day which involved a walk in the morning together with our dog and watching our favourite show in the evening. These particular activities are what I miss most about the lockdown restrictions. I also grew closer with my parents. I got to see how hard they work in their jobs, whilst shopping and providing meals for our family. They are amazing people, and this time furthered my appreciation for them.
In Part Three, Year 11 Genazzano FCJ College student, Lucie McLeod, talks about adapting to studying at home and the activities she enjoyed the most.