An Exhausted College Student

by Kianna Goss

It will come as no surprise that as the fall semester ends, I feel more exhausted than ever. This is typical for college students. But what is different is that since the beginning of the semester, the workload has been
consistently overwhelming due to the virtual learning experience.

In order to ensure the safety of faculty, students, and staff due to COVID-19, Bradley’s President, Stephen Standifird gave students and professors the option to meet in-person or remotely. After many students and parents raised concerns about being on campus, President Standifird released bi-weekly emails about how the university would trace positive cases on campus, released student testing guidelines, and outlined how the campus would maintain social distancing. This resulted in the majority of the classes moving to an online format, with just a few face-to-face classes.

I am currently taking five online courses this semester. Between the discussion forums, papers, exams, and Zoom meetings, my brain is overloaded. Online classes have existed for over twenty years, but they pose difficulties for students who prefer an interactive and engaging environment. Many students are experiencing something called “Zoom fatigue”—an exhaustion felt after constant use of virtual communication.

Students who are struggling as online learners feel anxiety about remembering things like due dates and have a lack of engagement on Zoom calls. This causes them to feel awkward when speaking, and some simply remain silent during the sessions.

The social life of the campus feels unusual with the overwhelming “wear your mask” signs, six feet guidelines, and limited guest restrictions. Walking around campus without activities or even students on the quad creates an empty feeling. This pandemic has definitely taken away from the traditional college experience.

If you are a student who has been struggling with online learning and missing the excitement of your social life, check out these four suggestions

  1. Workout. This is a great way to blow off some steam if you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Some fitness classes are even fun, creating a great way to make you laugh at this difficult time.

2. Plan a movie night with friends and family. Following federal, state, and local guidelines, plan a way to spend time with friends or family, even if it is virtually.

3. Grab dinner. In order to ensure it is COVID-19 guideline friendly, you can order carry out. It’s a great way to get some fresh air!

4. Read a book or binge a favorite television show. It can bring comfort during a time of distress. It’s ok to give yourself a break. It’s important to stop, breathe, and do things you enjoy.

These tips can help you survive the exhaustion from schoolwork. Hopefully things will go back to normal soon, but until then we must follow safety guidelines as a community.

Wear your mask, wash your hands, get tested if you are feeling COVID-19 symptoms or were surrounded by someone with symptoms, do not gather in large groups, and take care of your physical/mental health.

About Kianna Goss

Kianna Goss is a junior at Bradley University, majoring in journalism with a double minor in sociology and advertising with public relations. Community involvement requires the use of one’s voice; in Goss’s case, her voice, which she expresses through writing, is one of the strongest platforms she has. Being a Black woman, Goss often writes to give a voice to the Black community. In doing so, she gains control over a media narrative that portrays the Black community in a negative way. As a writer who expresses herself through many different forms expressions, she has written poetry, blogs, newspaper articles, and opinion pieces. She is always looking for more opportunities to grow as a writer and personally. Goss is involved in many organizations at Bradley University. She is currently the marketing/ communications director for Bradley’s Communication Agency, a peer mentor for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, a writer for the student newspaper The Bradley Scout, and a caller at the Bradley Fund. Being able to explore her creativity is what Goss loves most about Bradley. The Communications department is molding her into the journalist she aspire to be.

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