Queens students adapt to the challenges of virtual learning

With classes being remote, Queens students are adapting to the challenge online classes have brought them. With new routines, no face-to-face interaction, having a full-time job and getting ready for their career, students are facing complications they never expected.

Adriana Wilson, a junior and nursing major at Queens, has been taking her classes virtually in Rock Hill, South Carolina. She travels 30 minutes into Charlotte for clinicals every Monday morning.

“I wake up at 5:15 a.m. and I leave my house to get to my clinicals by 6:15 a.m.,” said Wilson. “I meet up with my cohort and instructor at 6:30 a.m.”

With an early start time, Wilson is at the hospital from 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. having hands-on experience with patients.

“At clinicals I’m assigned one patient that I take care of and focus on all day,” said Wilson. “When I get there, I give them a physical exam, and around 9:00 a.m. we will give the patient their medicine if they have scheduled meds. I’m always either with my instructor or the RN I am shadowing for the day when I go in the room”

The days that she’s not at clinicals, she’s practicing and studying at home with her family.

“I practice on my dad or mom during non-clinical days,” said Wilson. “I don’t know if it’s harder being remote because I don’t have anything to compare it to since it’s my first semester. I would say it is definitely challenging not getting the hands-on experience that I need.”

As a first semester Junior, Wilson is starting her first year of nursing school virtually. And while it is demanding, virtual learning has its challenges and perks.

“Nursing school is just challenging in general,” said Wilson. “I feel like being in person and hands-on would be a better experience. It may be easier online because I don’t have to worry about commuting to class and I can use that time I would be commuting to study. I think there is definitely the pros and cons to the list.”

Victoria Elder, a health science major, travels three hours between Charlotte and Wilmington while having a full-time job.

“My space in Charlotte is a dining room table where I do all my work. I sit there for hours,” said Elder. “My space at home is my bed or my office at work. I travel back and forth between Charlotte and Wilmington because I couldn’t get out of my lease when classes were pushed online.”

Elder is used to going to the library to study and do her homework. Having to find a new study space and create a new routine has been difficult.

“The online classes, in general, are tough,” said Elder. “There is so much going on all the time. You have assignments due for one class six days a week and that’s only for one class. I know if I took this class in person I wouldn’t be as overwhelmed.”

Elder has created a routine to balance out school and work to make it less overwhelming for her.

“I wake up at six in the morning and run a 5k,” said Elder. “I’m at work during my morning class, so I’m simultaneously doing schoolwork and work for my full-time job.”

With a busy work and school schedule, Elder makes Sunday’s her planning day where she writes down everything she needs to do for the upcoming week.

Chloe Linton, a junior biology major, is taking her courses seven hours away in Florida.

“I work in my bedroom on top of my bed,” said Linton. “I chose this space to work because I don’t have anywhere else to work. I don’t have a desk in my room, and I live with a family of five, so it’s too noisy to work in the living room or kitchen.”

Every dorm at Queens offers a desk for students to work at and provides study spaces on campus for students to rent out. Without these options, students are forced to find a room in their house where they’re comfortable and complete their online work.

“I didn’t have any midterms this semester, but I have found it hard to retain information this semester compared to those in the past,” said Linton. “I feel like I am gaining knowledge, but I think it isn’t sticking because every class I attend is in the same location, so everything tends to get jumbled together.”

Covid-19 has made everyone’s life difficult, but these students have created a space and regimen in their home to make classes manageable. Students are ready to be back on campus in January for face-to-face learning and to get back into their campus routine.

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Published by students of Queens University of Charlotte, 1900 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, N.C. 28274.