Longing to return to the campus
Remote learning has been a difficult shift for us all, especially junior and senior- year students of universities. Despite it being almost two years since our routines were replaced with unfamiliar social and academic pressures, there is still a longing ache for the familiar faces and the thrills of on-campus adventures.
My coping mechanism at the beginning of lockdown was to binge watch movies and cook eccentric dishes. Slowly, these turned into my Achilles heel because I relied on stress eating and prioritised finishing a series rather than an assignment. Although there was no public health guideline stopping me from exercising in the morning or studying, my motivation lapsed into inertia.
Staying cooped up in my room for days on end exacerbated my social anxiety and proliferated negative self-talk.
With the elimination of hours wasted in traffic or gossiping after classes, we had the luxury of extra time in our hands. Some of us juggled studies and internships while others took more than four courses in one semester. Virtual classroom offered flexibility so we did not have to follow a fixed schedule and could always go back to a lecture if we had any confusion.
This learning method normalised waking up five minutes before classes, and giving presentations in pajamas and disheveled hair.
However, it was not short of nuisances such as eye strain and migraines. Most days, there were more distractions than WiFi bars in my house which stirred me into frenzy when I had group projects or exams. Once, a student forgot to mute their microphone after giving attendance so the whole class got their riveting commentary on the new season of "Money Heist".
But nothing beats the time when I volunteered to share my screen with the entire class and revealed my Wattpad fan fiction site which was open on one of the tabs. It was a toe-curling faux pas.
Remote learning has its perks, but it is about time we get a change of scenery. When universities open, not only can we engage with the communal world but also attend in-person classes which are a breeding ground for exchange of ideas and thought-provoking questions from both the students and teachers.
I am also itching to reconnect with my peers over those bizarre drinks that can only be found at Bottola. I miss the buzz of city streets, the energy of people moving toward something in their own ways, and the gratifying feeling of coming home after a long day.
The author is a student of BRAC University, and a freelance journalist. Email: email@example.com.