Oracle After Hours: Feeling tired after every class? You are not alone.

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Illustration by Esther Yun

Aria Jain, columnist

As I press my cheek against the palm of my hand, I feel my eyes lull shut as my teacher’s voice drifts off into the distance. Unfortunately, this is a situation I have found myself in more times than I would like to admit this year. With school kicking off in full remote learning mode, I find myself spending almost all my time on Zoom and have fallen victim to the infamous problem of Zoom fatigue. 

Spending six or more hours sitting in front of a screen takes its toll on both your body and mind. As soon as I close my Chromebook at the end of the day, I feel completely drained and am honestly ready for a nap. It is difficult to understand how sitting all-day can induce such an intense feeling of exhaustion. 

I do, however, recognize how much more complicated it is to communicate your ideas and feelings over a screen. We lose valuable social cues such as body language, facial expressions and the tone of someone’s voice. To make up for the loss of human connection, we overexert ourselves trying to process information that would’ve been straightforward to learn in person.  

Another aspect of remote learning which contributes to Zoom fatigue is the mindset it produces. I don’t feel the same excitement I felt when stepping into a classroom as the bell rings. Over a screen, it is incredibly challenging to connect and bond with not only your peers but your teachers too. The community and culture that was fostered at school do not translate over the screen. 

It is also tough to be motivated over a screen when you feel like you are putting in more effort than you are receiving.  Often after contributing in class, I stare back into a void of the glassy-eyed and complacent faces of my classmates. I do not feel the same validation of the small nods and eye contact I received in-person over Zoom.  

As much as I complain about the dilemmas Zoom brings, I am just as guilty as anyone else when it comes to zoning out, multi-tasking and using E-Learning as an excuse for my laziness. 

As we make our way further into the school year online, I think we should take it upon ourselves to grow and challenge each other the way we do in person over Zoom. 

We are doing a disservice to ourselves by settling for the mediocre learning environment we have created. Instead of slouching back into our comfort of the E-Learning bubble, we should hold ourselves to the same standard we did at school. 

It could be as simple as unmuting yourself to greet the teacher as you enter the meeting or smiling and chatting one of your classmates when they make a clever or funny comment. 

The more we act as if we are in person, the smoother the transition will be when we return. By doing so, we prevent these habits from continuing during in-person learning. 

Personally, the way we as a student body handle E-Learning is a test of our strength and resilience to the boulders 2020 has thrown at us. It takes courage to be the one that starts the change, but we have to remember that the bravery we need is a quality we use every day in school. 

We just have to put ourselves out there. We have to jump out into the welcoming arms of our classmates on the other side of the screen.