Online school is a new, confusing and stressful situation for everyone on campus. We are all learning new ways to do our classwork, and these new learning methods can affect students in surprising ways.

In a sea of (a)synchronous discussion, “Zoom Exhaustion” is a term coined to denote how drained online platforms can leave students and faculty. This is a unique experience impossible to understand until you experience it, and it’s caused people to replace their normal walks to and from the classroom with moments of laying down.

The University of Wisconsin is known for high academic standards, and they have made it very clear they want to maintain that level, but they need to reconsider what the purpose of our education is.

Amid pandemic, students should look to online options to reconnect with family, friends over holidaysSpring break is one of the most discussed moments regarding a student’s experience at the University of Wisconsin. It is Read…

College is a time for growth in many ways. It is no secret that many people want campus to open so we can find our homes in Madison and grow as young individuals, showing that academics is only part of the “college experience.” But, UW has unequally stressed the academic portion of our experience.

In a time when everyone is struggling in a different way, we need to focus on mental health, monetary resources and physical health at least as much as we do academics. Here is how the University can address these issues.

While understanding the additional stressors burdened on students by the election, the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19, UW needs to alleviate as many other forms of stress as possible. Since Zoom is the most effective way for students and faculty to discuss the complex topics we all study, the University should consider extending pass/fail options to the end of the semester, similar to spring semester 2020. They should also push UW for leniency toward academic performance this semester. These suggestions may help students stave off a “Zoom exhaustion”-triggered burnout.

At the beginning of the semester, online learning was written off as something to adapt to, but now drains both students and faculty’s energy. It is essential, now more than ever, to consider students as people who are here to grow personally and intellectually, not as human capital training for the workforce.

Among other measures, UW must include additional training dedicated to racial inclusivityAs the Black Lives Matter movement slowly disappeared from the public eye, the officers who shot Breonna Taylor were not Read…

As such, any money that previously went toward accommodations should be repurposed into new accommodations that reflect our current state. The University can support their students with monetary resources by actively creating opportunities for wealth distribution. As a linking force for everyone stuck in their homes, UW should constantly create opportunities and support programs for food and rent donations. Additionally, not every student has stable WiFi, so UW must address these needs to offer online school.

As winter approaches the horizon, students will lose the ability to escape to the trails and parks of Madison and this may cause their physical and mental health to deteriorate. Because of this, UW needs to ensure they have safe spaces for people to engage in physical activity. Oftentimes, this is how people take healthy breaks between Zoom calls and online homework. Keeping strict regulations on campus activity is the best option for ensuring these areas can remain open.

With social life looking different than ever before, students should consider joining Greek lifeIn the midst of the pandemic, online classes, residence halls being quarantined and two-week in-person class cancellation, virtual Greek life Read…

These are only a few ways the UW can and must address the issue of “Zoom exhaustion.” Since this seems like the most effective way to continue our educational experience, the University should be working to alleviate other possible stressors. Flexibility is commonly discussed as a necessity between students and their instructors, and the UW faculty and administration must recognize this as well. After all, it is their duty to understand and address the consequences of all of their policies.

Carter Olson ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in English.