Online classes chronicles
READER’S VIEWS (The Freeman) - September 1, 2020 - 12:00am

August 13. This was the day I spent weeks preparing for. The start of my classes. I am now a 2nd year International Studies student in a big university here in Cebu. We all knew this was coming; even with the pandemic, learning has to go on. Prior to the opening of classes I broke my phone, making me panic. What am I going to use for my classes? The computer is used by my younger sister who's a Grade 9 student in a private Catholic school in Pardo. She has already started her classes a week before mine. She is also struggling with adjusting to this new learning environment where the only place she could see her classmates would be our computer monitor. But thank God my mother is blessed with intelligence that made it possible for her to buy me a new phone before the classes start. It's not anything fancy; it's just an entry-level phone that costs less than P6,000.

Now I have a working phone, the thing left to find is internet connection. As a daughter of a middle-class family that could afford private education minus the luxury of expensive vacations and material things, we live in a WiFi-less home. Which was totally fine with me back when COVID didn't happen. I would normally connect to the campus WiFi. I could do assignments and projects with it, even socializing using my social media apps. But now, we are all in a home-based learning environment. What should I use?

In come the mobile data packages. Charan. I now have internet. Days before the start of the classes, it took me a whole day researching the best deals for my online class needs. I was searching for my two networks: Globe and Sun. First, I was amazed by the variety of promos one network offers.  There was one for everyone; if you want to play mobile games all day, or you'd like to catch up with your favorite YouTuber's videos, or you want to study, there's one. There is also one where you could use Google Classroom, Zoom or Meet, or if you would just like to scroll through Facebook and Instagram, there's one for you. I smiled the whole time I was scrolling through these promos when I realized how I could find a promo that would suffice my needs for both schooling and recreation because I also would like to catch up with my friends and the latest memes and TikTok videos. You can't just have everything, I thought to myself.

I continued looking for a promo with my other network. It's still the same promos but with different quantities. I sighed. That's when my dad came in and told me about this promo that he would give me was 5GB for three days without app restrictions. And that's how I found the perfect promo for me.

Then it was time for the orientation. The university held a five-session orientation about online learning, mental health during quarantine, apps to use for the classes, online netiquette and more tips to survive online classes. I'm grateful to my university for doing these webinars. But you know, it's totally different hearing it from other people and experiencing the actual thing. Online classes are hard, not just the actual schooling and learning part but the external factors that affect one's ability to do these classes. It's too early to judge whether this type of learning would actually work. I would have to wait for when classes actually start for me to really measure the level of difficulty. So people in high positions would know what actual students feel about this.

Freschia Mari D. Gonzales Student

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