Fear of missing out: A hybrid student at home

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The Catalyst / Mia Muzzi

Spanish II mixes in-person and online-learning teaching.

NDB’s Hybrid program is working out very well, but like anything there are flaws, and one difficulty to be overcome is the “FOMO” that some Zoom students feel. Most students can vouch that when at home, it is disappointing to see the other girls in the classroom laughing and talking amongst each other. Meanwhile, the other part of the class is sitting in front of their computer, just watching and listening.

It is so strange to watch the class from the outside, playing out like a movie.”

— Mia Muzzi

I am participating in NDB’s Hybrid model for in-person school and it is an amazing opportunity to be able to go to school during this time. As a freshman, I am so relieved to be back in school, even though it’s only been two days a week.

For NDB’s hybrid program, they split the school into two halves. Half of the students are online Monday and Tuesday, while the other half are participating on campus. Then on Thursday and Friday, the students switch places.

Most NDB teachers are in person and they lead the Zoom room from their classroom. When an NDB student logs into Zoom from home, she is greeted with a masked-up teacher and a view of both the classroom and the girls sitting at their desks. The teacher then starts class for the on-campus and online students.

Class discussions usually result in the in-person students talking and the girls online are left out and don’t have the motivation or want to participate. It’s so easy and normal for the teacher and students to talk back and forth but it is hard for the students who have to worry about a mute button.

For me, the hardest part about being an online student is the feeling of being left out. It feels like you are just watching them have fun and banter back and forth, living life as normal. Except when sitting on my computer screen, it doesn’t feel normal to me. It is so strange to watch the class from the outside, playing out like a movie.

When I am not physically in the class, it is really sad to see the other students on-campus. And because I do go to in-person classes twice a week, I know how much fun they are having, fun that I can’t experience.

In a sense, I am lucky because I have the fortune to be able to go to school, even though it is for a small amount of time. But it is really disappointing when I have to go back online and sit in Zooms the rest of the week.

“Sometimes I just don’t want to go to class,” said freshman Anna Ansari, “because it gets boring being a student online.”

Students like Ansari get tired of doing the same thing every day, and going to school really helps break the norm of the routine. But when the student is put back on Zoom, they are just continuing the same repetitive and mind-numbing schedule as before. Clearly, the Hybrid system isn’t perfect and NDB girls will have to work on defeating their FOMO and enjoying the time on campus. It is a work in progress but everyone is happier to be in school than online.

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