Move to Online Classes an Unexpected Boon to Anxious Students
By Antonio Johnson-Smith
City College’s move to online classes at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly flung many students into a whole new style of learning.
41% of students reported not having any online learning experience prior to the spring 2020 semester, according to a 2021 survey from City College administration. It’s undeniable that this sudden change in learning increased stress as many people were unprepared; however, how deeply has this online adjustment contributed to student’s stress?
In the same survey, participants were asked what the biggest factor was in possibly not re-enrolling for the fall 2021 semester. 20% selected “all in person classes,” 20% choose “all online classes,” and the remaining 60% of respondents chose “other factors.” This could indicate that people’s personal lives during the pandemic were a larger source of stress rather than whether or not classes were in-person.
For some students, the big adjustment helped them in unexpected ways. Journalism major Katherine Castillo, said “I honestly don’t feel the pandemic has affected my levels of anxiety, I would feel anxious attending in-person classes. I am one of those who prefer remote learning, even when I consider myself an extrovert”
Some students have found online learning to be helpful as one can work from the comfort of their home, which reduces stress for those with social anxiety. Student Guillermo Urquia, 24, said, “I can see how it actually affected my anxiety in a positive way because I don’t have to speak to people as I’m not a very social person.”