Zoom Gloom: Why I Hate Virtual School


Max Randklev

Zoom Gloom: Like many North Atlanta students, senior Tabitha Randklev has found it difficult to navigate virtual school. She said being at home for school has compromised her learning as there are always multiple possible distractions at hand there including her loveable dogs Elke (right) and Emmet (left).

Virtual school sucks and I hate it. There, I said what I’m sure everyone is thinking. I’m sulking over it right now, writing this editorial that’s multiple weeks late. As I sit on my couch, I can’t help but wonder when my constant Sunday evening depression is going to end. It’s the looming thought of what’s to come in the morning: another five days of torturous online school.

To the out-of-touch adult, online school sounds like a luxury. It requires less effort, plus you can stay in bed all day: sounds amazing, right? Wrong. I can’t help but cringe whenever talking to someone with this perspective because they just don’t understand. The absolute lack of motivation that comes from the absence of a concrete structure to your day takes an immense toll on one’s mental state.

I don’t have to worry about getting my phone taken away and nothing stops me from leaning into the distraction of my much more entertaining TikTok feed during a Zoom lecture.  In fact, I don’t have to worry about getting punished at all because as long as I don’t actively disrupt class, there’s nothing that I could do to be held accountable. And if I were to hypothetically disrupt class, what are they going to do, send me home?

For students with 504 plans (like myself) and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), virtual school is virtually impossible. Being at home provides so many distractions, from my attention-loving dogs to the sweet comfort of my memory foam mattress. There’s absolutely no way my brain is going to allow itself to focus on AP Statistics. Students like me are crashing and burning due to the inconsistent structure and monotony of sitting in front of a computer for eight hours. Add senioritis, college applications, and pre-existing mental illness to the mix and you have a disaster smoothie.

Don’t get me wrong, I know in-person school is also a no-go for now. The fact that I have to choose between sacrificing my physical or mental health with no other option is a concept so dysfunctional to me that I can’t even choose; how would I?

I’ve heard complaints from many students about just how awful online learning is. The worst part is that we just have to sit here and wait for a better solution. For now, dear readers, I bid you farewell, as I’m about to go complete the rest of my missing work so I can graduate in a school year straight from “The Twilight Zone.”