Many Students Opt to Stay Remote for Remainder of Term

Many Students Opt to Stay Remote for Remainder of Term

With Covid cases surging across the world, many students chose to finish out second trimester remotely rather than come back to campus for a little more than a month.

Williston offered in person and online classes in the fall and winter term. The fall term started Sep. 1 and went till Nov. 20 which lasted 12 weeks; winter term on campus started Jan. 18 and goes for six weeks until Feb. 26.

For the students who decided to stay remote rather than return to campus in January, online learning has had its challenges.

A second year sophomore from Hong Kong, Mia Grady found staying back was the safest choice for her.

“It was kind of a hard decision between me and my mom, because at first I was supposed to come back to resume in-person classes this term,” Mia said. “Then we saw the rise in Covid cases and, you know, living in Hong Kong, it would be quite far if, say the school were shut down and I would have to travel back. I just felt that staying back would just be the safest option.”

Unable to return back to Hong Kong during previous breaks, Mia finds this time important to spend with those close to her

“I wasn’t able to be in Hong Kong for a really long time, so I guess this term I can make up time to see some  old friends and family.”

Although Mia is attending online classes, she prefers being on campus, because its easier for her to learn and spend time with her classmates.

“I do really enjoy being in person for school, because not only is it nice to see my classmates and actually be on campus,” she said, “it’s also that I feel like some classes you kind of need to be in person. Even if it means keeping your distance and following  the Covid protocols I do enjoy in person classes.”

Erin Chai, a senior from Taipei, Taiwan, chose to stay home for the winter term because of the rise of  Covid cases in Massachusetts.

“The Covid cases in the United States, and specifically Massachusetts, were rising,” Erin said, “so I didn’t feel safe to go back to campus and neither did my parents.”

With the short winter term, Erin didn’t find it necessary fly thousands of miles for such a short time.

“I wasn’t totally against staying home when my parents suggested it to me because it’s not worth going back for six weeks and spending Spring break on campus,” Erin said.  “I also wanted to stay and celebrate Chinese New Year with my family since I haven’t had the chance to do that for the past three years.”

Erin said she’s finding online classes a lot more difficult than in person.

“Its kind of difficult for me because it’s hard to hear the teachers and the students and I don’t really know what’s going on in class most of the time,” she said. “I also can’t attend all my classes because of the time zone and I miss time for group work.” Taiwan is EST + 13, meaning 8:30 a.m. here is 9:30 p.m. for her.

Kana Kitano, a sophomore from Tokyo, Japan, decided to wait until Williston had its first Covid test to determine whether or not to return to campus.

“I didn’t come back this winter because my parents and I are concerned about the number of Covid cases increasing in United States and in Massachusetts,” she said. “I was originally going back to campus in late January after waiting to see the results of PCR test results at school to make sure there not a lot of positive cases and it’s safe to be back.

After discussing her parents and realizing she’d only have six weeks on campus, Kana decided to stay remote.

Unable to participate in winter sports, Kana is upset she doesn’t get to spend time with her senior friends during their last swim season.

“It was very hard for me to make this decision since I wanted to have a great time with the seniors during swim season and I miss my friends back on campus,” she said. “I know that in person classes will be much easier and effective for me.”

While doing online school, Kana finds many challenges, such as her improper sleep schedule and difficulty managing her workload.

“Online classes have been a lot harder than I expected since the teachers are paying attentions to students in the class mostly,” she said. “Sometimes I feel as though I’m not part of the class, and it’s hard for me to follow what’s happening.”

Kana also said she typically goes to bed at 4:00 a.m. and wakes up at noon.

Although online school has its challenges, Kana said there are definite upsides.

“I can have good meals, spend time with my family and I feel more relaxed and stress free,” she said.