Candy Bulletin

Transitioning into the ‘new normal’ as a student away from my motherland

As the school year comes to an end, the 'new normal' has turned me into a 'new person' who seeks wisdom almost every day.

(Hello! I wanted to share my experience with online classes, as a Filipino student in a foreign country. Originally, I submitted this paper in our school newspaper.)

As we are amid a pandemic, I’ve realized that learning comes with no limitation. I’ve also witnessed the transition of our school in fully becoming 21st Century learners and teachers. Having online classes was the best alternative we students could do as we transition into the ‘new normal’, but let me mention this, I know we all had our ups and downs during the whole quarantine. I know we all had the temptation not to join the Zoom call. And I know, we all had the distractions because we’re at home.

But let me mention this too, it is alright and very normal to experience the ‘craziness’ the new normal has brought to us. In my eyes, there are different kinds of students who have had different phases during quarantine. There are those who easily adapted to seating in front of a screen and absorb the new lessons conveniently while there are also students who are not used to the online classes setup.

But for me, I find myself in the middle. It was like a bell-shaped graph. For an introvert like me, I was enthusiastic about the idea of staying home and having online classes. I said to myself, “Is this what homeschooling is like? Can’t wait to try it!” And as you can guess, I organized my desk with sticky notes, pens, and two notebooks for MWF classes and TTH classes. I couldn’t be happier because this kind of learning is ideal for me.

But as time passed by, I saw that most of my school mates did not have the same perception like me. They wished to come back to school because this ‘new normal’ does not suit them, they said. I have friends who usually complain every morning on our way to school, “Ugh, school again.”, then now I hear them saying they want to come back to school. Here’s another proof that we humans are never satisfied. We have classes at school but we always want to be home. Now that the pandemic has forced us to stay home, we want to go back to school instead. So what is it really?

As the school year comes to an end, the ‘new normal’ has turned me into a ‘new person’ who seeks wisdom almost every day. I’ve got to admit, online learning was truly a roller coaster ride for me. And not because of the temptations or distractions, but because there was a week or two of school anxiety. Yes, it does exist (for me at least).

There were moments I could not sleep properly because of this specific subject I could not overcome. It was just an average subject for senior high students like us. As first-timers of this kind of subject, I was anxious. It was a difficult week because I was going through it alone. It felt like I was alone because the presence of having people who are probably experiencing this too (my classmates) is absent. Every day of that week felt like there was a giant rock in my chest who wanted to get out.

Until I decided to message my classmate and it turned out he also felt this way! I let out a big sigh. At the end of the day, you really are not alone. After that day, I made it a habit to check on my friends regularly because in this ‘new normal’ many may be facing tougher situations than mine. During the transition, I’ve realized the significance of human companionship. We may not check on our friends regularly, but please let them always know that you are in this transition of the ‘new normal’ together. No matter the distance.

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