100% virtual means students struggle to find adequate space to concentrate on class

Senior Breyon Richards showing off her desk at which she does her school work. Her desk is set up so she can see things that help her stay motivated to do work.

Credit: Breyon Richards

Senior Breyon Richards showing off her desk at which she does her school work. Her desk is set up so she can see things that help her stay motivated to do work.

Lily Stickley, Feature Editor

Some students set up their laptops on their kitchen table, others are learning from their beds, and some people have a desk in their bedroom. Other students have an office in their home, and some students are learning from their couches.
Students are participating in virtual classes in places they haven’t learned from before. Some students have purchased desks to work at or something to help them work on their beds, whether it was for homework or in the spring when school went online. Most students did not have a room in their house internally dedicated to learning, so many students are having to adjust their homes so they can learn at home
Students like junior Lillian Daniels are learning in their bedroom at a desk where they can have minimal distractions.
“I can close my door. My sister is in class and my mom is working, so I don’t have interruptions,” said Daniels.
Students that are having to work in places like at their kitchen table, with some of their siblings, they may have troubles with unmuting their mics, as there are multiple different people speaking.
In previous years, students have completed their homework at home, but that is different than being on a computer for six hours a day or more.

“I had this setup before online learning started. I always did my homework in my bed,” said junior Grant Kahler.
Other students have not been doing their homework in the same spots that they are now doing school, like senior Breyon Richards. “No, I didn’t do homework here [at her desk] before.”

These sticky notes are some of the things senior Breyon Richards uses to help her stay motivated to get her work done. (Photo by Breyon Richards)

While learning from home, it can be difficult to be productive, so some students are creating unique little things, such as motivational sticky notes, to help them stay focused.
“Yeah it helps that I have these sticky notes I put up,” Richards said. “Stuff that are like goals, like I have been trying to work out everyday, eat healthy, also things like quotes, inspiration. Little stuff to help you get through the day.”
Some people are feeling more productive while learning from home. For example, Richards said she feels more productive. “I find myself being more productive while doing online school because I can go at my own pace so I don’t feel stressed.”
Other students are struggling with feeling productive while learning from home. “No! I dislike learning over computers… sitting down on [the] computer is draining,” said Daniels.

Not all students are more easily distracted while distance learning. Some students are finding that it is easier to concentrate while learning from home than typically if they were in school.

Junior Lillian Daniels is seen sitting at her desk, working on her assignments for class. (Photo by Macy Daniels )

“I am probably more distracted at school because there are more opportunities to socialize,” said Richards.
In my house, I am learning in our backroom. We set up a desk and created a little cubicle-like wall, with a couple of 2 by 4 pieces of wood and a sheet that covers the wood, to block out other distractions from where I am doing school work. This helps me to separate school from other things, like sleeping, eating, and helps me avoid easy distractions.
Many students are creating new work spaces like this, as it is important to separate work and relaxation. The reason behind this is that your brain associates rooms with what you typically do in them.

Senior Lily Stickley desk area is separated from the rest of the room by a homemade barrier. Which allows Stickley to be able to focus more on her schooling. (Photo by Lily Stickley)

The book “HBR Guide to Being More Productive (HBR Guide Series)” by Harvard Business Review, states “When you work from home, it’s easy to let your work life blur into your home life. ‘Unless you are careful to maintain boundaries, you may start to feel you’re always at work and lose a place to come home to,’ Hallowall says.”
For students without the separations/boundaries, they may start to feel as though they are always at school.