Ever since March 2020, online school was introduced, and became a regular part of every student’s day-to-day life. Now as we begin 2021, as the threat of COVID-19 grows larger and larger and as the lockdowns pile on, we continue to gaze at our computer screens in order to educate ourselves in our desired subjects. But how much is this transition to virtual education affecting students?

Before the drastic change from what used to be considered normal school life, school consisted of actively participating in lessons, co-curricular and fixtures. Students were able to simply communicate to teachers and tutors within their lessons and they were able to interact and socialize with their friends. Our Mondays to Fridays would be pre-occupied with having to go to school, partake in various clubs or to contribute to different sport fixtures. After having to commute, we would eventually arrive at home and have a limited number of hours to finish of some homework, or to cram in some revision. Although we may have mental effects of stress and anxiety when it comes to achieving certain academic goals in such restricted time, we are used to this as we have been practicing and repeating this cycle for years. Therefore, when we were all struck with this unexpected pandemic and these sudden restrictions and regulations, we  all had to shift to this new virtual setting (not just students, but everyone).

Now when it comes to a student’s daily life, things have changed considerably from what it used to be. Instead of physically  being at school, participating in lessons we now have to stay in our homes, glaring at computer screens for hours on end. The variety of clubs, activities and sport fixtures that heavily influence the lives of students, can no longer remain, and offer the same experience as it did before. Students can no longer meet with their friends during school hours, forcing them to communicate by other means. Our Mondays to Fridays are no longer as pre-occupied, due to commuting to and from school not being required anymore. This elongates the time that we would have at home. Although this may seem much better than before, as it may remove any problems including stress and anxiety, these extra unnecessary number of hours do take a toll on our mental health as students. Because of this change, it can be seen as a struggle, as we aren’t as used to this online platform of learning, compared to what we have always done. This may as well affect our education, our mental health and even our physical health.

It can also be argued that all this free time us students get, can definitely be put into good use. This could mean extra revision can be done, new hobbies can be discovered or even beginning to appreciate the world from home. Despite this, there is no guarantee of online school becoming the normal way to educate students. This situation that we have been forced into by COVID is merely temporary, so there should not be any extreme worries for how this may affect students.