This week, we check in with Holden, who shared his experiences with us earlier in the Spring of 2020. Now, six months later, he reflects on what’s changed and what’s the same while #LearningintheCOVID19era.

Six Months Later

By Holden
South Mountain Community College

In the beginning of my second semester at South Mountain Community College, I was doing great! I felt that I had a steady workload with four classes and usually baseball every day. All my classes were in-person except for one and I really enjoy, and prefer, learning in person. I had pretty good grades at the time and I was pleased with how I was managing my time. When COVID hit and we had to be off campus, I really was just defeated. I had an apartment over in South Phoenix but moved home because we cut our lease short. Our baseball season got cut short, it wasn’t even half-way through yet.

Every class got switched to online after a 2-3-week break. After the break, I was pretty much in summer mode. I did not do anything scholarly in that time frame and really could not. When the switch happened online, it was difficult at first. I was not in the best place to be learning. I would just get way too distracted and it really did not help that my whole family would be home all day. It remained difficult throughout the semester, but I started getting used to it. Having public speaking on Zoom for the first time was crazy to me. I was learning to talk to a crowd of people, but it was on zoom.

Another thing that really made it hard for me, was the motivation factor of working online. My personal motivation is through sports. Coaches always told me, “a student-athlete has to be a student before they can become a student-athlete.” This is true, but with sports being taken away, I just could not myself being just a student when it was time to play ball. Not playing the season affected my recruiting opportunities because I was having a great season so far. Making it to a four-year with a decent amount of scholarship money is my current goal. There just was not a big enough sample size for some of the coaches that came out to watch. Without playing baseball, you would think that I would be more focused on schoolwork because I had nothing else to do. It was the opposite and because of my lack of motivation my GPA has taken a tumble. Because of the tumble, I am now on academic probation for my position for the presidential scholarship, which pays for my tuition.

 All in all, it affected me greatly and I know it has affected everyone in many ways. I was blessed to be able to get an education during this time, it was just harder than I had thought it would have been. My coach at South, Tyler Gillum, first told us the news and at the end he said, “hardships only build character.” So, I would like to think that I built a lot of character during this pandemic.

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