Staff Editorial: Mills students are crumbling under COVID-19 workloads

Since this school year began, students from kindergarten to college have had to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their education. Confined to their homes and dorm rooms, students across the nation have entered online school. After all, this is America, a nation built on lethal productivity. Taking a year off of school would be simply unthinkable.

Students are struggling — online learning isn’t easy; engagement is next to none, technology is difficult to navigate and make accessible and we also have to deal with the crushing existential burdens of COVID-19 and late capitalism. As some Campanil staff explained to me, the mental burden of constant political, environmental and social crises requires a lot of rest just to get through the day. Students’ struggles with online learning haven’t been limited to the realm of mental health — many of us are finding Zoom classes incredibly difficult to navigate. Even without falling behind, an online learning environment isn’t ideal. The technological difficulties of online classes, as well as distractions in the home, make learning next to impossible.

One of the biggest difficulties of Zoom classes is the discussion. On a Zoom class, where you often can’t see or hear most of the class, there are not easy cues for when to talk. Thus, even when the professor is reduced to begging the class the participate, there is complete silence. As a humanities student who benefits greatly from discussion-style classroom settings, the barriers of online classes have been hugely disappointing. 

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