The Highs and Lows of E-learning: A Year Unlike Any Other


Margaret Meyers, Writer/Editor

A question faced by students across the country, “How is e-learning going?” has left many conflicted themselves. While e-learning has some unexpected perks, many can agree that the negatives are usually the first aspects that students bring up when discussing their classes. From a lack of collaboration in the classroom, to just simply missing seeing friends in the hallways, e-learning has affected friendships and relationships across the country. The Beacon was eager to speak with some Whitney Young students to hear their opinions on e-learning.

One thing that many students came to an agreement with was the time saved by not having to commute to and from school. Nico Degrazia ‘21 stated, “Without the added stress and time of commuting to school, I have had more time to work on homework, get ahead on assignments, and work to save for college. Working in your own space at home was much more comfortable for me.” Whitney Young students commute from all across the city on busses, trains, bikes, and by car, so it has definitely added some extra sleep hours and productive work time to students’ days. While this extra time is a positive shared by many, it is not the only beneficial aspect from e-learning. Teresa Pan ‘21 shared, “Most teachers are understanding about everything and have been lenient with work,” which has been a fairly common understanding among students. Teachers and students alike are working through these difficult times together, and many feel that this year, teachers are going the extra mile to show support to their students. 

While some of these positives from our new learning style appear promising, it is difficult to ignore the many negatives that accompany e-learning. One commonly shared feeling among students is constant distraction and feeling like they can’t find a way to focus. Ethan Nakashima ‘21 declared “Sitting in one space for an entire school day is very draining,” which is a feeling that many have experienced while doing school from a computer. Mental health has been a focus for many during these times, and without engaging classes and interaction with friends, it has been hard to find motivation. Finally, for seniors this year has been especially difficult. With no Homecoming Week celebrations, barely seeing each other in person, and confusion over end of the year activities, many seniors are feeling like they missed out on a part of high school they had witnessed for so many years. Madison Tate ‘21 told the Beacon, “It has been upsetting to miss out on all of the traditional senior experiences,” which is a feeling that she is not alone in experiencing. 

While we have grown to accept our new form of learning, there is no doubt that students are ready to return to all of the things they love about in person learning, even if it does include a long commute every now and then.