Higgins heads back to school

Owen Higgins (’21) shares details about his transition between eLearning and in-person school.

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Photo Ella Wertz

Owen Higgins (’21) (far left) socializes with his friends during lunch after returning for the second quarter.

Ella Wertz, News and Features Editor

With the start of the second quarter, many students have made the transition from eLearning back to Brick and Mortar. Knight Writers interviewed senior Owen Higgins about his experience as an eLearner compared to his experience as an in-person student and his transition between the two. Higgins opted to do eLearning only for the first quarter.

“I had surgery on my knee so I selected eLearning so I could recover more easily from home,” Higgins said.

Online learning has been difficult for many students. Due to the lack of students being physically present, there is a strong disconnect between teachers and students. Higgins shares that he feels that his ability to learn is significantly aided as an in-person student compared to an eLearning student.

“I definitely feel like I learn more in-person because I feel more engaged with the class and the teacher while online I felt more detached and less of an interest for learning,” Higgins said. “With in-person there’s that face-to-face interaction with the teacher and class that I think is beneficial personally to learning. Also, with online, I feel less motivated to do work so I tend to do the minimum or learn the minimum.”

Higgins transition has given him the opportunity to be more active in school, whereas, as an online student he was constantly stuck within the constraints of his house, which can be very draining.

“This biggest difference [between eLearning and Brick and Mortar] personally is the lack of energy and interest in eLearning compared to in-person, I definitely feel more awake and involved in-person,” Higgins said.

As an IB senior, this transition has been been relatively easy for Higgins because he has a majority of the same teachers and knows most of his peers. These relationships have prevented Higgins from falling behind on work and creating beneficial bonds with his teachers.

“Most of my teachers are familiar and I had them the year or two before, so I feel like my relationship with them hasn’t been affected too much,” Higgins said.

However, he sympathizes with younger students having to make this transition.

“I feel like [the transition between online and in-person learning] would definitely be harder as an underclassman or if you are new to the school,” Higgins said.

Higgins was inclined to make the change back to an in-person student because he was tired of his daily routine as an eLearner and missed the several social opportunities that school has to offer. Additionally, Higgins’ recovery prompted his return to school.

“I missed my friends the most when I was online because we always hang out together and have a lot of classes together so being at home all day got pretty lonely,” Higgins said. “I also got bored of being on a computer all day and I needed to get back into more of a schedule, plus I can actually walk now since I got off crutches, so that motivated me to go back to school.”

Even though Higgins is happy to be back as a Brick and Mortar student, there are still many aspects of eLearning that he will miss.

“[I will miss] waking up at 8:28am sometimes and going to class on Zoom after just rolling out of bed,” he said.

There are both pros and cons to eLearning and Brick and Mortar. However, Higgins, like many other students, is excited to finally return to school after almost a seven month break.