Keeping focus on communication across borders

By Tomas Deveault

Staff Writer

Who would have thought that after all this time, especially when many have been saying we are losing our abilities for face-to-face interactions and actual technology free conversation, that we would be forced into the complete antonym of that. Now we have no choice to interact with family, friends, teachers, peers, and everyone else through virtual realities… Dystopian. 

In my own personal opinion, connectivity to the virtual world is entirely relative. Each individual has always been equipped with their own preferred methods of communication. Generationally speaking, older generations contrast themselves quite drastically from newer generations, especially millennials and Generation Z’s. The reliance on face to face interaction for the youth has mostly faded away, obscured by a pixelated mask which we all tend to wear these days. Whereas the latter generations can sometimes have trouble adjusting to technology as we know it today, creating inequalities in ease of use and of course intergenerational comprehension. 

When it comes to the current COVID-19 world situation, it has been especially difficult for me to keep up with my academic work and simply staying up to date. I have always been a student who learned best from personal interactions with my professors, listening to them speak in class and getting to ask as many questions as I pleased. I had developed my own ways of functioning and progressing academically, in person. I struggle with keeping my home life in Quebec separated from my academic life, and so international schooling fit my personal needs quite perfectly. I got to kick my feet up at home on the weekends and not think about school, whereas during the week I was on campus focusing only on schoolwork. There was a clear line in between both worlds, which is what I particularly need. 

During times like these, cell phones have given us the benefit of reaching out to each other to check in and see how everyone’s doing. Photo taken Thurs, April 18th.

Now across the border from my own school and locked out of the country where my academic life and focus was, I find myself struggling to draw a clear line between both worlds. Things that seemed easy to me such as doing homework, staying in touch with professors, showing up to classes, are now incredibly difficult for me. The hardest part of it all is the feeling that I get that I am becoming a worse student than I ever was, a feeling of self-loathing and of disgust towards my own difficulties of keeping my GPA where it should be, compared to what it looks like now… The worst part is knowing that if I were to be on campus things would be entirely different and I wouldn’t be struggling to finish my sophomore year in college, unfortunately now I am. 

If I had to choose one word that could describe how I honestly feel; discombobulated. I have lost the closeness to learning that has always allowed me to perform well in school, and I am left inside my own house lost, confused, and especially exhausted. Now I have to learn and struggle through means of technology that seem to be a nuisance to my learning capabilities. Whereas others are able to still strive through these technological times, I am simply not. This brings me to my original point and opinion being that connectivity and practicality of virtual interactions is entirely relative. 

Unfortunately, I do not have a choice but to brace myself for final grades hoping that I can pass this sophomore year. Frustrated and upset at knowing that if I were to be attending school in person, I would be ecstatic and joyful to receive my grades. I used to love learning, now during these times it regrettably haunts me and feels like an unbearable weight that I can’t get off my own two shoulders. I wish I could have voiced my opinion in person, but this will have to do.