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  • Amogha Koka and Samantha Kwock

What do UCLA students think about remote learning? Two of them gave us their thoughts.

Anil Chaganti is a 1st year Molecular, Cell, and

pursuing medicine.

What do you wish you experienced at UCLA?

Anil: I was really looking forward to the dorm life as a freshman and experiencing more hands-on opportunities such as in-person volunteering, research, and medical opportunities that I’ve now missed out on.

How does online learning compare to

in-person high school learning?

Anil: Academically, this environment is much better for me to retain information because I am more focused at home and am able to be more organized. I am able to be more on top of it and understand material better since I am only taking 3-4 classes. However, it has also been harder than high school because it’s hard to form study groups and have peer interactions in classes.

What's it like joining clubs and finding friends?

Anil: Personally, clubs have been a big let down since the socials are not really interactive and are stagnant, although I still appreciate the effort. Also, finding clubs that offer what I like has been hard since it’s an information overload and I feel lost. In classes, breakout rooms don’t help and can be super awkward at times since most people have their mics and cameras off. The social aspect of my first year of college has been a let down sadly. However, I have my hopes up for next year and can’t wait to be back in person!

Eric Au, meanwhile, is a 4th year Biology student with graduation just around the corner. He is interested in pursuing either pediatrics or psychiatry in the future.

What will you miss the most?

Eric: The top three main things college provides is community, connection, and independence. I will miss seeing people, walking around school, and just the overall community aspect. In college you are able to grow into your own community, learn about who you are and why you do the things you do.

How does remote learning compare to your previous three years here at UCLA?

Eric: Online learning provides more flexibility, relieves stress of having to be in person. If you have to work, classes are recorded, and you can watch at a later time. However, online class does not provide social connections. In-person classes are way better. There’s a stronger connection to the curriculum because you can actually sit with your friends and see your professor. The computer screen makes you feel less attached to the material.

Is it harder to join clubs and make friends online?

Eric: It is a thousand times harder online. You can probably join organizations, but developing genuine connections is so much harder. In person, you can physically see, talk, and be around people, and all that strengthens your ability to connect. Making friends online feels more superficial. I recommend putting yourself out there. You never know where your best friends are going to come from. Immersing yourself in different experiences can help illuminate who you are and help you realize your whole self-concept.

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