By Meghan Dundon

With Covid-19 came regulations and guidelines for social distancing and sanitization. One of those regulations was remote learning in schools through applications like Google Meet and Zoom. There are reports of declining mental health and motivation due to the isolation caused by remote learning. However, as a returning student to Cape Cod Community College (4Cs), I am noticing a different, more positive outcome.

When I first came to 4Cs in 2014, I began my associates degree in Liberal Arts. As the classes continued and each semester passed, I noticed my motivation and desire to succeed started to wane. My grades started slipping, and I did not think homework and schoolwork were very important. As any Millennial or Gen Z-er will know, parents encourage their kids to get degrees because jobs will only hire you if you have a degree. I managed to pass enough to get my diploma, but not without repeating classes and having a difficult time overall in school.

Four years later I am currently back for my Certificate for Social Media and Digital Marketing. With the knowledge I currently possess about how I learn best and the determination to succeed and give it my all, I applied for my certificate back in January. However, as we all know, Covid-19 had other plans. I was not sure how 4Cs would handle the oncoming pandemic, but I put off signing up for courses until August to see how things went. Once it was clear the college was going remote for Fall 2020, I signed up for my online and remote learning classes and anxiously awaited my first day.

I started the semester hoping that I would not repeat what I went through previous years. As we finish up the fall semester of 2020, I noticed that my participation and workflow have dramatically changed and online and remote learning has come easier for me. One of the biggest distractions during in-class learning was the people around me and the noise other students make causing me to lose focus on the teacher and missing important information. With microphones muted and the ability to focus only on the teacher’s webcam, I can tune out any other white noise with my headphones. There is also no long commute from home to school, allowing me to get more sleep and not having to worry about travelling anywhere.

I know many students don’t have the same issues I do, and that they have been negatively affected by current events. However, I never would have tried online courses before the pandemic, as I had been taught that only being in class was the best way to learn. I am less distracted, and I can work on my classwork when I want to, on my own time, anywhere I please. I can control the environment around me and feel more comfortable in a remote or online course than I have during my previous four years of college.