As a student in a Master of Social Work program, I am facing many challenges with virtual learning. I have experienced internet connection loss, accidentally muting and unmuting myself during zoom calls, laptop crashes, lack of motivation to complete assignments, inadequate access to professors and classmates, and overall frustration with virtual learning. It is important to remember that a diverse group of students, teachers, families, and businesses are all facing many of these same challenges.

  • I have heard teachers becoming frustrated with students for not turning in assignments or not communicating effectively.
  • I have heard students becoming frustrated with teachers for assigning too many activities or not being understanding of their circumstances at home.
  • I have heard parents becoming frustrated with children for being lazy or spending too much time on their phones or devices.
  • I have heard children becoming frustrated with parents for being overdemanding and not understanding of their frustrations.  
  • I have heard employers becoming frustrated with employees for being unproductive while working from home or feeling unmotivated to come into work.
  • I have heard employees becoming frustrated with employers for lacking compassion about the added obligations they now have at home.

Most often, I have found myself becoming frustrated with virtual learning and coping with the challenges of COVID-19. I chose my graduate program because I wanted to complete my Master of Social Work in person rather than online. There were many other programs I could have applied for but an online education was not something I was comfortable with or confident in. I knew online school would require tremendous time management and internal motivation to be successful.

I have overcome many of these challenges just as other students, teachers, families, and
businesses have. Although I have faced many obstacles in virtual learning, I have also learned
more than I ever imagined. Not only am I learning about the field of social work, but I am also
learning valuable life skills such as:

  1. Time management: I have learned to plan my days and weeks in advance.
  2. Utilizing planning tools: My planner and online calendar have become some of my most
    helpful resources which I utilize daily and even hourly.
  3. To-do lists: I have come to appreciate writing down assignments and checking items off.
  4. Taking breaks: I value setting aside time to take breaks to engage in self-care.
  5. Respect for others: I have gained tremendous respect for teachers, professors, parents,
    and employers who are taking extra time to be available, accommodating various
    schedules, and providing resources and information.
  6. Learning from mistakes: I have a tendency to procrastinate but I am learning to become
    more productive and proactive.
  7. Accepting change: I did not like the idea of online learning but I understand it is
    necessary for our safety and wellbeing.

It is important to remember that we are not alone in the challenges and obstacles we face
during virtual learning and remote work. Change can only make us stronger as we continue to
adapt to a virtual learning environment. Through this process, we will become more resilient.

Megan Huffman