Amid an international pandemic caused by COVID-19, students all across the globe were hastily pulled from their campuses and forced into the ever-so frustrating cyber world of online schooling. Students of all ages, from kindergarteners to graduate students, were given no choice but to adjust to the awkwardness of learning from our bedrooms and deal with learning circumstances that have never previously come into play. Although this experience has been beneficial for some and frustrating for others, students everywhere have found ways to cope with both the stresses of an ongoing pandemic, which includes self-quarantining, intense feelings of isolation, and newfound responsibilities, as well as completing their semesters from home.
Students on social media have resorted to referring to their online education as attending “Zoom University” regardless of which college they go to or where their campus is located. Zoom University is a trend of sorts that began on Facebook. It was created to assist college students who are feeling the heaviness of their college experiences being halted. Or if you’re a college senior, simply coming to a premature end. Coping with this sadness, feeling isolated due to quarantine, not being able to go about your day to day life, and being thrown off of your schedule can be incredibly hard things to cope with. Especially because it swept across many locations so suddenly. Fortunately, the Zoom University group aimed to help students going through these situations and discuss any negative feelings that they may be experiencing. This group has helped shape a sense of community amongst students who live in all parts of the world by becoming a safe space where people can talk about how they’re feeling, share news, post memes to make each other laugh, and even create friendships. This amazing outlet has allowed students, who no longer are able to attend on-campus classes, see their friends, and are having a difficult time adjusting to this new way of learning, to find a sense of comfort and belonging in these crazy, unprecedented times.
Students across the world have taken to Zoom University quite well. Being that many schools are unsure of whether they will be returning to campus this fall, Zoom University may be here to stay. Many students and teachers have found that this social media trend is beneficial to this new education alternative. As we enter yet another stage of the digital age, the impacts of technology continue to exceed our expectations and constantly improve our experiences to make this unfortunate situation more personal. It is because of this group-like structure that students feel they are not alone during such a challenging time and are not going through these experiences all by themselves, but rather as a community. Students are given the push and motivation to get through the semester thanks to the support of other students and professors who also can’t wait to meet in person once again. Moving forward, this will play a prominent role in the continuation of online education and in the ways it will impact students.