Student Productivity Levels Vary Amid COVID-19

Carlos Paniagua Emiliano, a sophomore from Dallas, is working productively in the library to get his work done for module B. He still manages to keep himself safe by social distancing and wearing a mask and motivated despite the changes in work ethic and campus life in general (Photo by Alyiah Harris).

The numerous changes in Albion’s campus environment have the ability to impact students’ work ethic and productivity levels. Students have tests, homework, quizzes and more to keep up with just to stay afloat and graduate on time. 

Casmer Johnson, a sophomore from Waterford, plays on the Albion College football team, and with the changes in the module system, he said that he feels less productive this semester as compared to the previous semesters. This year, all of Johnson’s classes are online, which he said he thinks plays a major role.

“[The semester] is going good, even though everything is shut down and we can’t work out and everything is shut down,” said Johnson.

Jayden VanMaurick, a junior from Holland, said this particular semester has made him more productive compared to the other ones.

“I feel like I share the same sentiment with the majority of the other students here, as to how I do not really like the module system,” said VanMaurick. “I feel like the compactness and condense-ness of everything within seven weeks is just simply way too fast.”

The speed of things is fast-paced, and it affects some students more than others. Workloads are different, and what students are allowed to do outside of classes has changed the normal schedule for them as well.

“People are devoting way more time to their studies than they actually need to,” said VanMaurick. “I am kind of forcing myself to be more productive just to stay on top of everything, but it really feels like I never really get a chance to catch my breath.” 

Knowing how to balance school and regular everyday life can be challenging, especially in the midst of changed circumstances. This is something VanMaurick said has noticed.

“With the state of campus that we’re right now, it’s forcing us to really just engage, and classes are really what we can focus on,” said VanMaurick. “It’s not like we can really get into extracurricular activities. I am in cross country and we aren’t competing. I have way more time to study instead of traveling all over the place to compete.”

Most students only have two classes at a time during these modular semesters, and they find themselves implementing different tactics in order to deal with the new environment and circumstances around them, which includes looking at the bright side even when there doesn’t seem to be one.

“I try to stay as optimistic as best I can,” said VanMaurick. “The two positive things I do see with the module system, like I said, we get more free time devoted to our studies. I also would recommend not to throw yourself into your work. You would think that is the best thing to do right now, but a small break in between studies, time away from the books, the notes and the laptop really do go a long way.” 

Other students, such as Carrie Beilfuss, a junior from Concord said all the changes this semester have made her less productive.

“I have more of a loss of motivation compared to last year just because of how everything is going on in the world,” said Beilfuss. “For example, I feel like I have not retained that much stuff in my classes compared to how all my classes were in person last year.” 

In addition to academic changes, social distancing has put limitations on many social aspects of campus, including the way in which students can properly study. This, as well, can lead to an inhibited sense of productivity

“I feel like I am less productive because I have been working in my dorm a lot more instead of going to the library,” said Beilfuss. “I have a lot more distractions in my room.”

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