By Vivian Li, Staff Writer, May 2020
There’s a lot to be said about virtual learning, and in the past month, much of it has been pretty negative. However, since this is going to be our reality for the rest of the school year, perhaps it’s time to start looking at the positive aspects of virtual learning. Let’s zoom in:
1. More Time to Sleep:
Before Virtual Nobles, I would have been lucky to get six or seven hours of sleep on an average school night. I would usually get up at 6:45 am when the sky was still dark, and I would slumber through a 30-minute commute to school just to barely make it in time for Assembly. However, since we’ve transitioned to online school starting around 9 am, I have been consistently getting 8+ hours of sleep each night before waking up to the sun shining on my face. I have finally achieved the healthy morning glow seen in every unrealistic TV show about high schoolers. I also feel much more alert and awake throughout the day. I implore all of you to take advantage of the opportunity for more consistent sleep. Don’t just go to sleep at 3 am and nap throughout the day because you can.
We all know the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but until Virtual Nobles, I never really followed that rule, usually skipping breakfast and making up for it with a snack at the Snack Bar, or simply grabbing a quick bagel and eating it on the way to school. While my bagel-breakfast mornings were usually fine to get me through until lunch, I would still occasionally end up feeling extremely hungry and therefore unmotivated during my second- or third-period classes. Since Virtual Nobles has started, however, I now have the opportunity to actually sit down and eat a real, healthy breakfast. So in the mornings, instead of waking up at 8:44 am and watching Virtual Assembly on your computer while still in bed, try getting up and setting up a real breakfast before your first class –– develop those healthy habits you never would have during normal school.
3. Free Time to Learn New Things:
I’ll admit –– during the first two weeks of quarantine, I was the laziest person alive. I would get up, do nothing productive all day, snack excessively, binge-watch TV, and then go to sleep somehow feeling exhausted. However, since Virtual Nobles began, I’ve been finding myself actually feeling more motivated to do something productive or creative. Once I am in a focused, productive mood through my first classes, I am more likely to continue that trend and do something more productive than snacking and watching TV for the rest of the day. Since Virtual Nobles, I have picked up a few new hobbies like baking, and gone back to a lot of old hobbies, such as playing the piano. While you shouldn’t feel pressured to be super productive and creative during quarantine, many of you can certainly take advantage of the free time to dive into those activities you normally wouldn’t have time to explore.
4. Slowing Down
A lot of the reasons listed above are a direct product of how Virtual Nobles has, in general, helped me “slow down.” During the regular school year, I often find myself struggling to take time to relax in between my 8-hour school day, my 2-3 hours of afternoon program, and my multiple hours of homework when I finally returned home at night. With Virtual Nobles, I have been able to take time during the day to de-stress, relax, and breathe in between my classes and assignments.
5. Preparation for College + Beyond
While college and adult life will certainly be more rigorous than Virtual Nobles/virtual high school anywhere, Virtual Nobles does present an opportunity for you to learn how to better manage your time and become more responsible. Personally, the first time I did an online class, I was abysmal with my time management, periodically missing deadlines as I put off listening to the lectures and doing the assignments. With Virtual Nobles, there is a nice balance between having the structure of synchronous classes and the flexibility of it being virtual. The long breaks in between classes are similar to the structure of classes in college, and I have had to figure out how to make the most of my free time when I am the only one deciding what to do with it. The possibility of coming out of this experience with better time management skills is certainly a positive opportunity to value and fulfill.
While I still miss the day-to-day conversations, interactions, and the feeling of physically being at Nobles, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the positive developments to come out of Virtual Nobles. I find that focusing on these positives, as well as reminding myself that I am in a fairly privileged position during this pandemic, has all helped me get through this period with a better, more grateful attitude. Hopefully, these tips will help you as well!