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Junior Feather staffers share experiences with teens across the nation

Celeste Castaneda | The Feather Online

Juniors Feather staff members Celeste Castaneda, Morgan Parker and Jewel Chandler attended the Student Voice Zoom webinar to discuss high school student concerns and hopes amidst coronavirus threats, April 5.

As most of the world continues to shelter-in-place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many students adjust to new learning strategies and responsibilities. Students from South Carolina, Argentina, Kentucky, New Jersey, Georgia, New York and more attended a Student Voice Zoom webinar to discuss the struggles of online learning, April 5. 

The video conference, led by Student Voice, provided a space for students to ask each other questions and share concerns about online learning. Topics included balancing work, study tips and ways to cope during the pandemic.

Students participating in the chat expressed concerns about balancing school work with new responsibilities. Some find it difficult to keep track of time and workload. One suggestion from participants was using Google Calendar to keep track of class meetings and deadlines.

While many enjoy the idea of creating their own schedule, others find it difficult to stay motivated with the lack of structure. Some cope with this problem by recreating their normal school schedule as best they can while staying home. This includes waking up at a consistent time, logging into online classes and staying in touch with fellow students.

Students on the webinar said that to help cope with the new stress levels and anxieties, they kept in contact with teachers or the school counselor. A counselor on the call said she was still talking to students daily, helping them manage their new responsibilities. It was encouraged to others on the webinar to keep in contact with staff and advisers to help adjust to the new learning methods.

Whether from another country or state, a common worry has risen among all the participants: COVID-19 has spread rapidly and globally, and will continue if citizens neglect to take the proper precautions.

As the discussion progressed, students shared frustrations with work schedules. Some included that certain teachers and professors lack empathy for their students as they do not fully take into account the other subjects students are faced with.

Lack of communication and clarification on work assignments also raises stress levels. While adjusting to online learning, students take on more responsibilities. Some work more hours, clean more or take care of siblings, adding to their stress as they attempt to complete schoolwork. 

While there are teachers who assign work as normal, or have increased the workload, there is also a portion of those reaching out to their students, willing to accommodate to special circumstances. Students reached a common consensus that in times like these, mental health is equally important to education.

Many students are finding new hobbies or activities to do to keep their minds occupied. Whether it’s reorganizing, art or exercising, students add non-educational activities to their days in order to maintain a stable mental health.

The Student Voice video conference provided a space for students to ask each other questions about balancing work, study tips and ways to cope during the pandemic.

Chat members also brought up the topic of racism. Because the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, discrimination against many Chinese in America persists, as they are being blamed for the outbreak.

Juliette Reyes, a student mentor, shared how one of her international students was kicked out because they thought he had COVID-19. 

Many students are finding it difficult to adjust from a busy schedule to an empty one. Sports are cancelled along with extracurricular activities and only certain online classes are scheduled on select days. Some students are taking advantage of the extended time and getting more sleep, but even then, most struggle with finding something new to occupy their days at home.

With all the worry brought by the coronavirus, students wonder why they still receive schoolwork. While some believe that students should be given a break, others are grateful for work and having something to do while sheltering-in-place.

The opportunity to chat with fellow high school and college students created a safe environment to share experiences and get to know what is going on in other schools. While students experience the devastation brought on by this virus to various degrees, the Zoom meeting spread awareness that no one is facing this battle alone.

Although it is a scary time for many, it is important to stay in contact with people who care and are in similar situations. Be sure to stay active, take up hobbies and enjoy time while not working on online school.

Being a part of the webinar showed both differences and commonalities. Though students were from different areas and of different nationalities, all shared a common trait: all are experiencing the same pandemic. Everywhere around the world, places are on lockdown, families are in quarantine and there is an awareness of the virus. Our Fresno Christian staff are also available, so don’t hesitate to contact or reach out to anyone.

Attending the Zoom meeting made it easier to connect with other teens and relate to them. It opened up an opportunity to ask questions, find out how they are coping during this time of concern.

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For more articles, check out EDITORIAL: Humanity’s altruism swells amidst COVID-19, social distancing and Locals gather to support homemade fabric mask protection needs.

Morgan Parker can be reached via email and via Twitter.

Celeste Castaneda can be reached via email. 

Jewel Chandler can be reached via email and Twitter.

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