The switch to online courses amid the current health crisis has presented many challenges for students this spring semester. As Victor Valley College staff and faculty continue to work to make the transition smooth, we’ve asked students to share their thoughts and tips for staying motivated and productive.
Some were already thriving in a virtual environment before the COVID-19 pandemic, or have previous experience that made it more comfortable, like Rigo Correa, a Liberal Arts and Fine Arts major.
“Because I am one of those technological literate students, and because I have had experience with online courses, I have not faced any challenges or issues,” Correa said.
Others never envisioned online learning as a path they wanted to take.
“I took in-person classes because I need face-to-face instruction…,” said Pamela Glendinning, a Math/Science and Respiratory Therapy major.
Glendinning said it has helped that her music class has Zoom meetings and her art instructor offers online office hours through Zoom.
Leslie Sandoval, a Biochemistry major, said that although she’s not used to an online format, her professors have been “so supportive and understanding.”
“They are willing to make as many Zoom meetings that are needed to get the students the help they need,” Sandoval said. “I honestly think that VVC has supported me and done a lot!”
Sandoval stays motivated by challenging herself and keeping a list of assignments to have completed by certain deadlines.
“Being able to do that makes me happy because it might not seem like a lot but it’s still an achievement,” she said, also noting that it’s important to take short breaks after assignments to not overwork yourself.
For Joseph Salama, the Student Development & Language Senator for ASB, what helps him stay on task is using the same time he would have physically been in class to work on his assignments at home.
“It is easier to think of it that way since the same time slot would have been used either way,” Salama said.
ASB President Amber Scott noted the importance of having “a quiet space” to get work done at home. Although she lost some time due to stress and navigating her family through the current crisis, she noted several college employees have helped her stay encouraged.
To her fellow VVC students, Scott said: “We will get through this and your life will still be what you make of it once this over! Do not lose sight! Blessings to you all.”
For many students who are accustomed to being in classrooms regularly, the change to online learning has forced them to shift gears. Lorena Liquen, ASB Social Sciences Senator, said she has had to change her mindset because at first it felt like a break from school.
“I constantly have to keep reminding myself to do my work and not procrastinate since the work may be due at a later time,” Liquen said.
While she added that her professors and counselors have been very communicative through emails, it has still been critical for her to regularly review the due dates for her assignments and try to stay focused on coursework.
Several VVC students brought up the importance of positive thinking, now more than ever.
“What helps me stay productive and motivated is literally thinking positive,” said Helen Gerdes, a Biology major. “(For instance), I’m never home while school is on campus and now I get to spend time with my family every day. I get to be in touch with the hobbies I used to love.”
ASB Inter Club Council Senator Jacob Nobles also said “positive thoughts always help,” along with keeping the mind occupied with activities you enjoy.
“Learn a new language, read a few books, invest into a TV series or a video game, write a story, learn to draw/paint, exercise, learn to cook, find new music, bring out the puzzles, clean and dust, and get crafty,” Nobles said. “Stay positive! There are people doing amazing work out there and now is the time to be that positive force in your family or community.”