Eight reasons why online teaching may actually not be that bad

Looks like we’re stuck with online teaching for a while, so why not try and look at the positives?

Online teaching is now an unavoidable reality. Despite many clinging to hopes of in-person teaching, dreaming of lecture halls and seminars, it’s time for us to settle into our new normal, no matter how much it sucks. It’s fair to say that online teaching is already suffering from a bad reputation. From cringe-worthy Zoom calls, dodgy Wi-Fi, technologically challenged lecturers to the embarrassment of forgetting to hit mute, the negativities of online university seem endless (not to mention paying the full nine grand of tuition fees for the pleasure of sitting at home every day). Who would have thought we’d see the day when we actually want to go to our 9am lecture in a crowded hall? But in a world that’s going more to shit every day, it’s time to search for the positives in our situation. So, let’s stop moaning and try and look at the upsides of learning online – there’s got to be some, right?

You don’t have to wake up nearly half as early

Got a dreaded 9am on a Monday morning? Normally that would mean dragging yourself out of bed at an ungodly hour, trying (and failing) to look presentable, and rushing to campus. But now, mornings are a lot more leisurely – you can set your alarm for 8:45, roll out of bed with time to make a coffee and be at your laptop by 8:55 without any of that early morning stress. Yes please!

No commuting in Newcastle weather, especially in the winter

On my open day, I was told that it doesn’t rain much in Newcastle (which was a bold face lie!). As you all will have experienced, it rains a lot in Newcastle – and it’s cold. Like proper cold. Avoiding that long walk to campus while it’s chucking it down and freezing in December is a definite plus. The scenery may look stunning, but those icy commutes definitely won’t be missed!

Uni from the comfort of your own home

No longer is there any shame in turning up to a seminar in your pyjamas or with a full-on meal to snack on. Online teaching means comfort and relaxation, no need to even leave your bed if you don’t want to (you probably should though, just to get a little bit of a routine in). Whilst Zoom calls may be awkward, at least we’ll all be more comfortable.

You can pause or slow down a lecture

We all know a lecturer who talks at lightening speed and makes a thousand points a minute. Normally you’d be getting cramp in your hand trying desperately to write down everything they’re saying – but pre-recorded lectures mean we have the luxury of pausing! Say goodbye to getting left behind in lectures and having to peak at your mates notes whilst missing a whole other slide because you’re too busy catching up. Now everything can be at your speed!

You can work on your own time

We all work best at different times of the day, be it early morning, afternoon or late at night. For the most part now, we can pick and choose when to listen to lectures and do reading for seminars. Online teaching means you can work around your job, hobbies or even your hangover. I know I won’t miss forcing myself to a lecture after a big night out – and now we have more flexibility than ever.

No rushing round campus to your next lecture/seminar

The dreaded timetable clash – you’ve got a lecture that ends at 11:55 but a seminar way across campus at 12. You’ll never make it on time – not a chance. But now you can just sit in one place and virtually hop from one meeting to another. No more rushing around campus desperately trying to make it on time and getting the worst seat in your lecture hall!

More free time

So, we’re more flexible this year, we have more time on our hands – might as well make the most of it. Whether its binging a new series on Netflix, picking up a new hobby, or actually doing your reading for once – there’s now plenty of time to fit it all in! Take a walk or a picnic to Jesmond Dene and enjoy the luxury of your new-found free time!

Saving money

On campus it’s just so easy to grab a meal deal from Co-op or a snack at Luthers until suddenly you’ve blown your weekly food budget by accident. At least whilst we’re trapped at home, we won’t be spending extortionate amounts on Starbucks coffee and instead will be forced to eat the food in the house. Your bank account will thank you.

We know it seems like there’s not much to be positive about at the moment, but this just shows how even the worst situations can have their upsides! Whilst we may all resent coronavirus for stealing our university experience, its not all doom and gloom, and having a positive outlook can really change everything. So it may not be the best year ever, but let’s still make the most of it!

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