Juniors Salma Roquet and Morgan Sergio have been friends throughout high school, but the pair came to a crossroads over their learning option this year.
Both students take English teacher Matthew Horne’s fifth period IB English Language and Literature class. The only difference between the two is that Roquet attends school online, while Sergio attends school in-person.
“School is going rough,” Roquet said. “I have no motivation and it just all seems optional even though I know it’s not.”
On the other hand, Sergio said she has an entirely different sentiment for her in-person classes.
“Personally, in-person school makes me focus a lot more, versus online where I’d struggle to focus and pay attention,” Sergio said. “I also really think I learn more in person than online, despite how nice it is to not have to do much.”
Sergio’s newfound focus and attention during in-person learning made school less burdensome.
“Since I’m learning the same content as in person, I don’t technically have more [work],” Sergio said. ”But since I’m more motivated to do the work it feels like a lot less that I have to do.
Meanwhile, focus and motivation remains a substantial issue for online students like Roquet.
“The workload isn’t too much; I just can’t bring myself to do any of it,” Roquet said. “My brain checked out of school the moment we went virtual and I can’t make myself focus anymore.”
Roquet said online school does not inspire the same academic motivation that in-person school once did.
“Virtual school just doesn’t feel like real school,” Roquet said. “I need that structure in my life we got from in-person school like deadlines and in-class assignments”
Sergio said another way that in-person school benefitted students was by rekindling their social lives.
“[My social life] has definitely gotten better since I get to interact with a lot more people, and I can actually talk to people now that I’m in school,” Sergio said.
Socializing was still possible online, but the in-person connection would always be lacking.
“I was still able to make friends and keep seeing friends, although I obviously miss the in-person social interactions from school,” Roquet said.
However, in-person school is not without its flaws. Even with all the benefits in-person schooling brings, Roquet said students’ health is a significant concern.
“I want to wait until my parents are vaccinated before going back to in-person school.” Roquet said.
Between the two students, both agreed that in-person schooling is very helpful for keeping focus and motivation.
“I would definitely recommend at least partially in-person,” Sergio said. “I miss being able to be lazy, but I know it’s good for me to be in person.”