Distracted and bored: ARC students share why working from home is such a challenge

“I’m stuck at home and I’m struggling to ignore all distractions”


American River College students speak out about the challenges of working at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of unsplash.com)

The transition to online classes and the “stay-at-home order” enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has come with its challenges for the students at American River College. 

With the virus still spreading and no vaccine yet available, the Los Rios Community College District has announced classes will remain online-only through the fall semester. 

Several students spoke out about their personal experience with online-only education.   

For creative writing major, Tatiana Branner, she says the switch has affected her ability to concentrate on her work and find the motivation to finish the semester strong. 

“Personally it has been difficult to study and get work done since I’m stuck at home. Usually, I would do school work somewhere else because it helped me to focus,” Branner said. “But now that I’m stuck at home I’m struggling to ignore all distractions and keep myself working for longer periods of time.” 

Branner said that since the school closure on March 17 she’s had no trouble with the online learning platform Canvas; instead, trying to work from home has been her biggest challenge as a student.   

“This experience is kinda tough because ever since school and everything else shut down, my brain switched to vacation mode,” Branner said. “I’m trying to get into work mode but it’s been proven challenging.”

Branner also said she is struggling to keep herself entertained and wished more stores had stayed open. She said that if she could she would buy more books to read instead of staring at screens all day. 

“My eyes are starting to falter due to looking at the laptop all the time for school,” Branner said.

Branner is not alone in her feelings of struggle during the pandemic. Carson Morris, theater arts/acting technicals major said he has also had difficulties during this time.  

“A few things have been difficult during this time. Finding basic necessities was a struggle since some people were stockpiling and there wasn’t a lot of certainty of when this might end,” Morris said. 

He also said he thinks that the teachers should have extended the due dates on assignments during the transition and should be more lenient about grading policies throughout the rest of the semester. 

“[The] second [struggle has been] the homework for classes where assignments could have been stretched out more since we aren’t meeting as much or Canvas is not working properly,” Morris said. 

Though all students have felt an impact from the changes brought on by the pandemic, some students have found this time to be more challenging than others.

Luis Gael Jimenez, journalism and communications major, said this transition has had devastating effects on almost every aspect of his life.

“Coronavirus has made going to school so much more difficult than it already was. This semester, I ended up having to drop all of my classes because the online course load became too demanding to try and adapt to as the rest of the world shut down or transformed overnight,” Jimenez said.

He said that watching the financial ramifications of coronavirus has made him rethink his major and ultimately his future altogether. 

“Seeing newsrooms get completely gutted and papers that have been around for decades close down within days of the shelter in place orders starting has made me realize that I want to pursue a degree with more financial stability and security at the end of the line,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez works three jobs in three different industries and said he has seen each one of them drastically changed because of this pandemic. 

“It was right at the same time that classes started to go online that my office job asked me to start working from home, the restaurant I work at closed down suddenly, and my job caring for the elderly all of a sudden became a lot more life and death than it ever had been,” Jimenez said.

He said that this came as such a shock to him that he is now considering leaving school and pursuing a more ‘essential’ career in a different field.

“The idea that I could go to school for years to study something I am passionate about, compete for internships, make connections, get into a good school, and [work hard] only to come out and there be no jobs has me looking into other majors and degrees, and even toying with the idea of leaving school altogether in order to pursue an ‘essential’ career,” Jimenez said.

Though Jimenez is discouraged he says he still hopes that we as a society can learn something from this time and come out better for it.

“I’m hoping that when all is said and done with coronavirus, that there is some commonality leftover between all of us,” Jimenez said. “Some common understanding that we are all in this together, and whatever divisions exist beyond that, are man-made and conquerable. We’ll see what the future holds, but for as much as coronavirus has driven us apart physically, here’s hoping that it brings us together mentally.” 

With the possible prospects of COVID-19 returning in force during the fall semester and the LRCCD’s announcement of extended campus closure, students and faculty should prepare and plan accordingly and follow instructions from the LRCCD.   

For more information visit https://arc.losrios.edu/campus-life/news/coronavirus-update.