NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Students and faculty reflect on a remote semester

Going all the way back to March, students nationwide have had to master the art of online classes. Fast forward to present day this is still the case and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

Many local schools have opted for completely online or hybrid for the time being.

Northern EssexCommunity College has made the entire first semester online for its students.

I spoke to some students and professors about how they feel about everything being online.

The overall response I got was it’s not ideal, but they are working through it the best way they see fit.

Eli Duff, a freshman majoring in Human services stated “After having an online and virtual outcome forsenior year, I was grateful for some experience and trust in my online school abilities! With collegecourses, activities and events being held online, it has truly been a difficult and enlightening situation. Ihave always loved being with people and being able to interact with others face-to-face but with thisnew adaptation, I have been shown a new obstacle that I am willing to take on! Seeing across what hashappened, there are many new online methods and wonderful ways that have allowed us to completesimilar tasks as we may be used to.”

The school has done a lot to help its students up to this point. They have made it, so studentshave access to Wi-Fi hot spots on campus. They have had students go to campus and pick up muchneeded supplies. Even with the added resources from NECC students are still finding it hard to stayfocused and motivated on their schoolwork.

“I find myself having to lock myself in my room some nightsjust to get my work done.” Says Freshman Matthew Glynn.

The struggle kids are facing currently is likely not to shift much. Northern Essex posted on theirwebsite the plans for the spring semester. They state that the spring semester will begin on Jan. 22 ofthe new year. The new semester will have some classes on campus, but it has been limited to the classes that need to be in person such as lab classes.

Each student I have spoken too have said that they wouldrather be in person. Alicia Clogston a nursing major, says “So personally I don’t like everything being online because I don’t learn as good and having to basically teach myself everything is harder and I honestly don’t think teachers are putting as much effort in. I prefer in person. As much as I hate actuallygoing to class it’s a lot easier to learn with the teacher right there in front of you and taking noteswhereas staring at a computer screen.”

Being online is not the only stress in student’s lives these days. Due to the schedule being what you want to make it, kids are now having to balance home and school in the same setting. Many students working have picked up more hours or even other jobs to fill their empty time, and now haveto throw in being a teacher to themselves. Situations like these are likely to influence the work ethic ofstudents as well as the mental health. Some are handling it by being able to to still develop a clear divide between the two.

Patricia Portanova, a professor in the English department sates ‘I am coping with work/life balance in the same ways that I hope our students are- by creating a structured daily schedulewith manageable deadline, dedicating a space for work in my home, logging off at the end of each day,and creating space for down time to focus entirely on my loved ones and self-care.”

It’s clear that everyone is experiencing this in all different ways, but it is also clear that everyindividual is working through it to their best abilities, as well as helping each other through these tryingtimes