Early starts, challenges … but headed back from Costa Rica


Do you know those days where you wake up at 5:20 a.m. for school and feel energized? 

Yeah, me neither. 

Due to time zones, I have to wake up at this time on the weekdays. Sometimes, a cup of coffee helps, but thankfully, I had a busy summer where I had the chance to get used to waking up early.

“You are in Costa Rica!?” people ask me in response to the reason why I am taking classes online. Even though Costa Rica is, without a doubt, a great place to spend the summer, I have been here since May, and it is not as fun or relaxing if there are restrictions due to COVID-19. 

As summer was reaching its end, I began thinking more about the 2020-2021 school year. I did not know what to expect, whether it was how many students would go to campus, how classes would be different, or how I would be involved in other activities such as clubs or community service. 

For that reason, I wanted to go back to campus on the first day. Unfortunately, there were no flights back until September since Costa Rica closed its borders. 

Virtual learning began smoothly: there was no struggle submitting assignments or knowing which ones to complete when. Eventually, I started seeing difficulties over the first weeks. 

First, there were technical difficulties, including wifi connection, the audio suddenly disabling, and screens freezing. 

Besides, my old laptop is slow, making assignments, web searches, quizzes, and tests take longer to load. On some occasions, some teachers would forget to connect on Google Meet, which made me struggle even more with the content. 

During class discussions about an article, text, or concepts, it was difficult for me to add a comment since it is tough to follow up trying to hear multiple people talking or talking from a distance. 

Interaction is key to learning and developing, which is another reason why I am glad to see my friends and classmates once I return Tuesday, September 9, to campus.

 I also am looking forward to club meetings, especially the Key Club meetings. Even though I missed Eagle Night, I am excited for the first football game on Friday, September 11th. 

Despite the rocky road, teachers were always supportive, made sure I had all the resources and notes to catch up, and answered any questions through email.