Illustration by Phoebe Hughes

Students Struggle to Stay Motivated

COVID-19 rages through US as students struggle with online schoolwork
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COVID-19 rages through US as students struggle with online schoolwork

Humboldt State University transitioned to online instruction for the rest of the semester on March 26. Since then, some students have had a hard time staying focused and motivated in online classes.

Deana Lopez, a third-year zoology major at HSU, admitted that this hasn’t been an easy transition.

“I feel overwhelmed with the amount of emails professors and instructors are sending, and everything seems all over the place,” Lopez said. “I have been neglecting my school work so much that I forget that I still have classes. I’ve missed quizzes and assignments already because it’s so easy to forget that I have to do them without a professor reminding me.”

Third-year psychology major Madeline Baker said she was having a tough time staying motivated without face-to-face instruction.

“Not being able to have classes in person further discourages me,” Baker said. “Holding classes through Zoom has been easier for me in contrast to pre-recorded lectures, but they still aren’t the same. Not having that in-person connection alters the learning environment in a way that makes me feel disconnected from my overall learning experience.”

Not only are students dealing with the move from face-to-face instruction to online classes, but they also have to manage the stress of living in a pandemic. With many students moving back home, there’s added family stress as well.

Not only do I feel like my beginning of therapy has been interrupted, but the full college experience for this semester.”

Madeline Baker

Lopez was feeling pressure from school alongside tension from life in general.

“I know I can find the motivation, but everything is hectic at the moment,” Lopez said. “My grandma recently passed away so there was that on top of the COVID-19 situation, and a lot of family problems have occurred as well. I’m trying to get myself and my surroundings organized before I can actually put all of my focus into school.”

No matter how good a job professors are doing, online education doesn’t appear to be the same. For the students, it’s not just the classes they feel they’re missing out on, but the whole college experience.

Meanwhile, the state of the world may be taking a toll on student mental health.

“The resource I would like to use most right now is CAPS,” Baker said. “Before all of this happened, I finally decided to go in and begin appointments, something I feel like I’ve needed to do for a while now. I feel like that has now been interrupted for me. I had a private safe space provided to speak with someone and learn to cope with things. Given my current housing situation, I do not have a private enough space in which I would feel comfortable confiding in someone and work through my personal feelings and issues over the phone or video. Not only do I feel like my beginning of therapy has been interrupted, but the full college experience for this semester.”

Many students are also dissatisfied about paying full-price tuition for resources they won’t be able to access for the rest of the semester.

Kayla Rodenburg, a third-year English major, thinks the tuition price doesn’t add up with all classes now online.

“I do feel like the tuition price is too high for online classes,” Rodenburg said. “Online university is dirt cheap and we are paying CSU prices for that which is kinda ridiculous in my opinion. I’m pretty sure many parts of our tuition fund things on campus that we now don’t have access to, so I hope some type of refund happens, even though it’s kind of a stretch.”

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