• Akshara Santoshkumar

Cutting Yourself Slack During Online Learning

Updated: Jan 24

If you had asked me last January what I thought about staying at home and going to school instead of having to wake up at 6:30 am to go to school, I would have been ecstatic. In hindsight, online learning wasn’t as glamorous as it appears to be.


Teachers at my school were also under a lot of pressure to meet the curriculum standards which meant they were going a lot faster than usual, resulting in an increased workload. Personally, I’m taking all honors classes which were already fast paced, and now, they were even faster.


For the first couple of weeks, I was pretty happy with online learning. I was getting good grades, going to class in my pyjamas, and got to do everything in the comfort of my home. I had nothing to complain about. However, as I started the new school year, my classes got harder and I struggled with paying attention in class. I wasn’t as motivated anymore because I wasn’t in a traditional school setting.


Every time I used to get a bad grade or didn’t do as well as I expected I began to panic and I constantly questioned my intelligence and capability. This completely disheartened me because I worked incredibly hard on whatever I put my mind to, and here I was getting bad grades on many of my assignments which I had put hours of effort into.


Online school has made me realize that I needed to be kinder to myself. As someone in high school, I and many others have had to deal with societal pressure to do well in every facet of our lives and this was only exacerbated by the pandemic. I felt pressured to keep up with all of this which led me to prioritize school in a way that wasn’t conducive to my mental well being, leading me to become increasingly stressed.


By taking a step back and acknowledging that I was struggling, I recognized I needed to cut myself some slack. Online school was different than what I was used to. I was expected to understand and comprehend numerous concepts in a short amount of time and demonstrate a good understanding of them on assessments all while being virtual. It wasn’t the end of the world when I did badly on a test, rather an opportunity to learn and grow from. Before this, I hadn’t acknowledged that I was feeling overwhelmed, and for me to truly do well I needed to accept the circumstances surrounding online school weren’t in my control. My only job is to do the best that I can so I could truly succeed.


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