Study Habits: During Virtual and After

Angela Lekan, Author

If there is one thing that BCA students know better than anyone, it is studying. One of the defining characteristics of BCA is how its students spend a significant amount of their time preparing for various projects and assessments. As a result, they have had to develop a variety of different study habits to maximize their time, effort, and, as is the goal, their grade. But during a year of virtual schooling, many study habits had been flipped upside down and were in need of serious adjustments to accommodate the unprecedented situation. Now that school is back in-person, students have found themselves having to readjust, responding to the issue of studying in a variety of ways.

Overall, it seems that most students study more than they did when school was virtual. “During the pandemic, I would study around three hours a day,“ said Rin Anderson, a sophomore in AMST, “but now I study around four to five hours a day in intervals.” 

This could possibly be attributed to a difference in workload. Afterall, progressing in grade level also means a progression in the difficulty of classes and the amount of work teachers assign. However, it seems that various factors of virtual school also made up for this discrepancy in studying.

For example, there was more time available to students during virtual school. Instead of taking the bus, students simply had to walk to their desk to attend school. Now that classes are in-person again, the bus ride to and from school can range anywhere from a couple of minutes to nearly an hour, taking up a substantial amount of time for a number of students. Additionally, where there used to be breaks throughout the day for students to do as they pleased, these have been replaced with study halls where they are slightly more limited in what they can do. 

Rin said, “During the pandemic we definitely had more time. Starting hybrid and in-person school was really a wake up call.”

Differences in how work was assigned during virtual school and in-person classes could also account for the difference in studying. During the pandemic, homework and projects all had to be assigned and completed on the computer. This meant less hands-on activities and more typing on a keyboard. For the computer savvy among us, this made completing assignments somewhat simpler 

However, completing everything on the computer can go in either direction, as demonstrated by several students also reporting that it was more difficult to learn and retain information when everything was being taught on a computer screen, resulting in more studying.

Esther Kim, a sophomore in AMST, agreed with this sentiment: “During the pandemic I felt pretty unmotivated and lost attention pretty easily, especially since we were freshman and still learning how the school worked.”

Overall, it seems like students prefer in-person learning over virtual, even though studying may take more time. 

Esther continued: “Now that we are in a school environment, I can pay attention to what the teacher is saying because they are right in front of me and not on a screen.”

All in all, this seems to show that studying is made easier when students have the information initially presented to them in a school environment rather than from behind a computer screen.