Experience of online MBA
It's been 1.5 months since my 2nd year of MBA started online. Recently I gave three of my academic exams also online. The experience was quite different which inspired me to write this article and share it with all of you.
First of all, I never expected that I would ever be able to do it. Giving exams through online mode and surviving in an extremely tight MBA schedule that too in a completely opposite relaxed environment of a home. Forget giving exams, when I came to know that this term will be fully online, I was so skeptical as to whether I will be motivated enough (considering the leisurely situation of home) to even attend the lectures.
All the MBA students will be able to relate with this because the kind of distinctive atmosphere we have at the campus is poles apart from what we have at home. The campus is full of club and committee activities, excitement in the air, late-night group studies (extreme late-night, just late night is not enough), multiple tea breaks, library tours, events and competitions, interaction with seniors, and crazy birthday parties. At the other end of the same scale is our home sweet home. A serene, peaceful place, rooms stuffed with the love of family, extreme care in each corner, and no stress, easy-going environment.
We can do it!
It becomes taxing for a student (or at least for a person like me) to live in a sluggish environment and keep up with all the deadlines, lectures, projects, and exams. But to my amazement, I am happily shocked by the way I got adjusted to this. So far, I have completed all my assignments, analyzed all the cases, attended all the lectures (yes I have 100% attendance!!!), gave quizzes daily, and even gave three proper 3 hours exams online.
Yes, it was strenuous in the beginning. I had my ups and downs and the road ahead seemed rough. But slowly my brain and body both got adjusted to the new setting. I had read it in Scientific American that humans may be the most adaptive species. We have got this flexibility from the constant climate change that we have been exposed to for 5 Million years.
On similar lines, Stephen Hawking believes "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change".
I knew this and had read it several times, but when I was faced with this unusual situation, I got to witness and analyze this more closely. I now am a firm believer that no matter what the situation is, if you give yourself some time, your body and brain will adjust to it. It is an automatic behavior of ours which we have inherited through millions of years of evolution. You just need to have trust in Charles Darwin.
Every cloud has a silver lining
All of us can list down various reasons as to why on-campus learning is better than online mode. I would agree with you. But since we have no control over the situation, it's better not to sulk and try finding silver linings in the cloud. So, I am going to tell a few things that I found better in an online mode of education:
Lectures are easy to attend: Now you don't have to travel from hostel to college to attend those early morning lectures. Just open your laptop and it's there. You don't have to worry about your pants either.
You get your food on time: We all know how many times we missed our food due to multiple things running simultaneously. Now that we are at home, our family makes sure we don't miss our food, missing deadlines is fine (just kidding).
The exams are open book, open notes: Because of this, there's no pressure to memorize bookish definitions and theories. We need to understand the concept well as the questions asked in the exams are all application-based.
Comparatively less stressed: Although it's difficult to keep yourself motivated when you are at home, if you look at it from another perspective, whenever you are feeling worried, you can quickly turn to your mother, father, or siblings to share your problems and you feel all relaxed. Even if you don't say anything, it's the mere presence of a loving family that eases the stress.
Making us ready for the uncertain future: We don't know when this pandemic will be over. Even if it gets over, we don't know for how long its effects are going to persist. Its good to see that instead of just waiting for the things to fall in place, we have started our academics and trying to learn as much as we can. If we place similar uncertainty in the future, now we know how to handle it.
The tough time for all of us
I can understand that the current situation in which the world is, was totally unexpected. It's a challenging time for all the people across the globe. I know that the problem that I am talking about does not even match 1% of the trouble that people in the whole world are going through.
But I know that there are many students like me, who neither paid for nor wanted an online education. They were excited to start a new career, go to a new place, meet new people, and have lots of learning. All of them stand disappointed now, with the same skeptical feeling that I once had that whether I will be able to cope up with this. This post is for all the students who are currently doing distant learning. I want to tell you that all of us will adjust and make the most out of this.
Just couple of advice that has always worked for me "Embrace the change" and "Move with the cheese".