For some Albion College students, doing classes remotely this semester was a no-brainer. To these students, being on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic just wasn’t worth the risk. These students are now experiencing noticeable differences between life into campus and life as a remote student. These differences come as both advantages and disadvantages to their academic careers.
As a remote student myself, I decided to prioritize my physical, mental and emotional health over a traditional college experience. Personally, I don’t think the traditional college experience is something that employers are looking for on a resume. So, as long as I’m taking the classes I need and I’m happy, that’s the plan I go with.
Other remote students see similar benefits in a remote college experience.
“Being remote has actually been helpful and less stressful,” Jailyne Chatman, a junior from Chicago, via Snapchat. “Although I miss seeing my roommate and some of Albion’s scenery, being at home has allowed me to raise my grades. I finished module C with 4.0s and that’s because I’m home.”
Chatman explained how her remote experience benefitted her in a way that allowed her to excel academically. Like Chatman, I am doing the same.
Not only has remote student life aided academic success, but others see an overall improvement in health and well-being as well, which is an important part of the college experience. For me, the fact that I was able to stay home was the only way I felt enough motivation and support to continue through school.
“I’m still glad that I’m at home,” said Grayson Spaw, a senior from Fort Wayne, Ind. via Facebook. “I made the choice to stay behind because I needed to put my health first. The constant changes we went through last semester put me under a lot of stress, and the dining hall wasn’t accommodating my dietary needs.”
From a personal standpoint, my mental health is thriving. My relationships with the ones I love are falling into their designated places. I am learning how to be an adult. This is what I have been missing on campus. I’ve always felt like sitting around in classrooms instead of doing the things I want in life feels just like a fulltime job instead of a full time experience.
Despite these advantages, remote students see some disadvantages to staying home as well.
“It’s definitely isolating,” said Spaw. “I see what everyone is doing through my screen, and I’m lonely.”
Cianna Brown, a junior from Arlington, Texas, commented on remote life taking a toll on her social surroundings.
“It’s better for my mental health, but it’s stressful for my social life,” said Brown, via Snapchat.