My name is Dalton Powers. I am a senior majoring in business with a focus in accounting here at Virginia Wesleyan University. During my time here, in addition to my responsibilities as a student, I have become someone who spends a great deal of time doing work in the community as well as interning throughout the summers.
When the pandemic hit, it all turned upside down until it was announced that it would all go online.
Our new “virtual world,” at first, resulted in me sitting at my desk in my bedroom for 10+ hours every day. During the beginning of May in particular, as I finished up my coursework for my spring courses with VWU, began taking two online courses with John Tyler Community College and was on two hour Zoom meetings at the end of the day several times per week for other things I am involved in, I began feeling as if I was living in a bluelight- filled hell.
After a few weeks though, my VWU coursework came to an end and I was well into my community college courses. I then began working my internship full time as a “telecommuter,” which added another eight hours of screen time per day. However, I was lucky enough that the company that I worked with provided us with extensive professional development learning.
As I worked through the professional development material, I really began to learn how much more productive it is possible to be thanks to our new virtual world. Without taking the time to walk or drive to work (or in our case as students, class), we are able to take that time to squeeze in those smaller homework assignments or make progress on larger projects.
Overall, I have come to quite like the freedom and efficiency that comes with virtual learning/working. While it can be tough to work with others on a virtual platform, and we sort of lose the social aspect of university/work, we are able to get so much more done and almost create our own schedule in many cases, which allows for us to have more opportunities to see our families and friends because since your work is virtual you can either work on it later at night or earlier in the morning. So, all in all, I have grown to prefer the virtual work/school environment to the conventional one.