My Teenager Says......

Effects on Students During Covid.

There are so many problems facing young people today. So, with this in mind, I’ve been thinking for a time about creating posts addressing questions that teenagers face. Subjects including mental health, studying, jobs, money and so on. I am going to publish a series of posts talking about these very things, including asking my own children how they feel about all these subjects and what’s on their minds too. I think it’s really beneficial to ask young ones how they feel about situations that are occurring on the world scene at the moment. I have called it ‘My teenager says….’. I hope you enjoy them.

The post below is a question and answer article asking a young person how they’re coping with starting college this year during Covid, and going through the experience of a more intensive on-line learning experience.

How does your weekly timetable look during this time?

The majority of my lessons are through on-line learning. In normal contact time I should be at college for 15  hours per week, however, I am currently only there for 7 hours. I go in for 3 or 1 hour sessions, and as soon as the lesson finishes, we all have to leave the building. This is for safety reasons and to make sure we’re not putting ourselves and staff at risk, which I understand.

Do you find on-line learning more difficult than sitting in a classroom with a tutor and fellow students?

I do find it easier, but I do find it harder to focus. One of my subjects requires me too sit for an hour and just listen, with no interaction, which I find difficult sometimes as my mind can wander. I think it’s so much better to hear the input of fellow students, because you get more ideas from each other. I do think that helps me to focus properly.

I like to have a purpose when I wake up in the morning, by getting ready and going to college. Even the travelling part. It gives me the motivation, and it feels that I’m achieving something much more than just switching on the computer and sitting at home. I was looking forward to the different activities that the school was offering, such as sport etc. We cant do that at the moment.

Do you like contributing on zoom meetings?

I feel that I hold back a little because it’s new and unfamiliar. There’s not been a great deal of social interaction at college with my fellow  students from the beginning of my courses, so I do tend to hold back. And because I can get so easily distracted at home, I worry that I’ve not taken in the information properly and may mess up answering the questions when asked to contribute.

Do you feel that there are parts of the college experience that have been compromised?

I do yes. I definitely think that it’s harder to make friends, because of only being able to have minimum social interaction. As I mentioned, there are no sports at the moment that we can participate in and no group work in lessons. We have to sit apart from each other. I do understand why this is the case though.

How do you feel about going to university?

I really do want to go to University, but I feel that if learning is continued on-line, I won’t fully enjoy the experience.

Do your friends like online lessons?

Some do because they would rather be at home.

How were your mid-term tests, did you do as well as you thought you would?

The results are what I expected them to be, so I don’t feel that it has affected my learning to a massive degree, but for me, I do lack concentration when I’ve not got the support of others around me.

What would you say is the thing you miss the most about the full college experience?

Even though I am studying subjects I enjoy, I really do miss the opportunities to make new friends and to socially interact.

Many young people understand the need to adhere to these measures because it keeps everyone safe. Hopefully, with the vaccine coming soon, our children’s learning will get back to normal.

I hope you enjoyed this young person’s viewpoint.

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I am a mother of two children, and have had many experiences in my life that I have been through and had to overcome. I feel it would be beneficial (at least to me, and perhaps you) to share my experiences. I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions. x

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