These college students say digital studying makes the transition to highschool, college a lot tougher

Some younger learners are struggling to construct early studying expertise whereas others stumble over math ideas. Repeated pandemic pivots have left college students out of shape with classroom studying, impacted their psychological well being and distanced them from friends. The CBC Information collection Studying Curve explores the ramifications of COVID-19 for Canadian college students and what they will must recuperate from pandemic-disrupted education.


From disrupted exams to studying new finding out habits, many college students say they’ve lacked any kind of consistency with faculty for the reason that onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For some, the transitional years — the transfer from Grade 8 to highschool or Grade 12 to post-secondary research — already brings the concern of the unknown. So CBC Information spoke to a few of these college students about how the academic adjustments introduced on by the pandemic have formed and shifted these milestone years. 

Ava Pietrantonio, 13 (Woodbridge, Ont.)

For eighth grader Ava Pietrantonio, nerves are on the rise. 

“I’ve heard that so many individuals in Grade 7 realized issues that I did not,” she stated. “I am form of apprehensive that … if I study it in Grade 9, I’ll be form of caught.”

These college students say digital studying makes the transition to highschool, college a lot tougher
Ava Pietrantonio is an eighth grade pupil at Pine Grove Public College. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

Sometimes, Pietrantonio would study concurrently along with her classmates at Pine Grove Public College in Woodbridge Ont., however when the varsity started to supply on-line studying in September 2020, many college students selected that choice and have been positioned in a digital elementary faculty.

She says this meant her lessons included new lecturers and different unfamiliar faces from throughout the varsity board

“They only gave you Google paperwork, slides and Google sheets to work on. So you are not really getting a lesson e-book or inquiries to reply,” she stated. 

“I felt like I fell behind.”

It wasn’t till this yr that lecturers started getting ready college students for duties like finding out for exams, she stated, offering her with a little bit of aid heading into highschool this fall. 

Makayla McIntosh, 14 (Brampton, Ont.)

Makayla McIntosh describes her pandemic studying expertise as much like being on a roller-coaster. 

“It was enjoyable to start with, after which it slowly bought extra depressing,” stated the Grade 8 pupil.

Makayla McIntosh discovered digital studying had plenty of ups and downs. (Submitted by Taje McIntosh)

She highlights math as a very troublesome topic to study on-line, saying it was difficult to get one-on-one time along with her instructor if she was struggling.

“It is not like you might increase your hand and so they might come over to you,” she stated.

Heading off to highschool within the fall, McIntosh says she feels prepared for the workload however is worried concerning the studying materials.

“I might say that I am apprehensive about not with the ability to do work to my commonplace, as a result of my commonplace is rather a lot larger for myself than, like, different individuals have for me,” she stated. “I am apprehensive of letting myself and my mother and father down.”

However this yr did provide the possibility to get nearer with a few of her friends. Being in a tight-knit class of solely 11 college students, she would typically flip to her classmates for assist throughout lunch or different breaks.

“We would assist one another,” she stated. “It was good to get one-on-one time with my pals who understood issues, as a result of they knew the place I used to be coming from.”

Ishaal Ali, 14 (Ottawa)

When Grade 9 pupil Ishaal Ali switched to distant studying, she says she seen she was struggling to maintain up with new applied sciences. 

With little or no assist just about, she felt her grades ultimately suffered. 

“Being on-line for such a very long time, it was exhausting to focus,” she stated. “It shortened my consideration span a bit of.”

She discovered she spent virtually the entire day on-line, first for college after which for a number of extra hours to do homework and research.

The shift to on-line studying made it tougher for Ishaal Ali to focus, the Grade 9 pupil stated. (Submitted by Ishaal Ali)

On high of transitioning to highschool throughout the pandemic, Ali was shifting to a distinct faculty board to attend a literary arts program. She stated the leap was a frightening expertise. 

Nonetheless, she says her Grade 9 literary arts instructor has helped ease the adjustment. Every day, the category is requested to jot down down every thing on their thoughts in hopes of bettering focus and lessening distractions.

Logan Curle, 17 (Regina)

Logan Curle says he hasn’t had a “regular” yr since Grade 9. 

“I’ve simply been taking part in catch-up ever since,” the Grade 12 pupil stated. “Grade 12 simply form of threw me for one more loop attempting to get again into the groove of issues.”

Whereas initially Grade 12 pupil Logan Curle stated it felt good to not write exams, he now worries he’ll have bother with exams in college. (Submitted by Logan Curle)

Curle stated he and his friends fear that college exams will probably be a problem. Throughout these two pandemic years, lots of his highschool exams have been optionally available or bought cancelled. 

“Which appeared good on the time … nevertheless it most likely did not put together me as a lot as it could have if I had a traditional yr.”

Regardless of the training gaps, Curle stated he feels prepared to maneuver on to post-graduate research.

We realized the right way to do issues a bit of bit quicker and the right way to do issues on our personal as a substitute of getting lecturers present us,” he stated, noting independence is a newfound talent.

Prabpal Bhullar, 18 (Vancouver)

Prabpal Bhullar, a Grade 12 pupil at WJ Mouat Secondary, says that studying a way of accountability has been a optimistic takeaway from his pandemic education. 

“Once we went digital, the entire concept of independence was … confused upon,” he stated. 

Prabpal Bhullar says {that a} newfound sense of independence has been one of many advantages of digital studying. (Submitted by Prabpal Bhullar)

He stated the distant studying expertise inspired him to take cost of his personal schedule.

“I really feel prefer it was form of a predecessor,” stated Bhullar. “In a approach, it made me really feel prepared for the subsequent step.”

From setting correct alarms to blocking out time for finding out, he credit the pandemic for his heightened sense of duty as he transitions to post-secondary training.

With promenade on the way in which, Bhullar stated he is thrilled that regardless of the challenges they confronted, Grade 12 college students may have the possibility to rejoice their resilience in individual.

Victoria Dmitruczyk, 19 (Hamilton, Ont.)

For 19-year-old Victoria Dmitruczyk, transitioning from highschool to McMaster College was jarring. 

“You had this one-and-a-half yr studying hole after which swiftly you are in college,” she stated. 

As a result of pandemic, her first semester was solely on-line.

Victoria Dmitruczyk stated she discovered the leap from highschool to school was tougher than anticipated, probably due to her interrupted research all through the pandemic. (Submitted by Victoria Dmitruczyk)

By the point her cohort needed to write the primary in-person examination in 2022, it had been practically three years since Dmitruczyk’s final in-person evaluation.

“I talked to a few of my pals who have been like, ‘Yeah, we’ll simply study it subsequent semester,’ as a result of we’ve got all this free time, however most individuals did not find yourself doing that,” she stated.

If she needed to give a bit of recommendation to a Grade 12 pupil to assist ease their transition, she would urge them to remain centered and never overthink the training gaps in place.

“Take advantage of out of it and truly follow it,” stated Dmitruczyk. “On the finish of the day, if it is advisable know this data for what you are planning to enter, you do not need to be struggling whenever you really should go and present your expertise.” 


COVID-19 has affected the previous three faculty years. How have your college students fared amid pandemic education? What are you most apprehensive about? Share your experiences and issues with us at [email protected] (Make sure to embody your identify and site. They might be featured on air on CBC Information Community.)

Hafidah Rosyid

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