Online School vs. Normal School


Elizabeth Wood

Students, parents and teachers in Forsyth County are learning that the differences between online and normal school are much greater than they ever imagined.

School is stressful! Everyone has those days when nothing seems to go right because your mind is so into your work. Since our school transitioned to online learning due to COVID-19, everyone seems to be even more stressed, but why? Online school and normal school seem like they aren’t that different; however, students, parents and teachers in Forsyth County have just learned otherwise. With online school you can sleep in, stay in your pjs all day and work at your own pace– who wouldn’t like that? Of course, students are starting to realize online school isn’t all it’s cut out to be. With so many positives and negatives of each, it’s hard to decide which is truly better. 


 “Social distancing,” the two words which have truly affected all students’ lives. There is a common stereotype that teens simply cannot socialize without using their phone. Teens have a reputation for being “glued to their screens” and not connecting with those around them. However, this reputation has been diminished as teens are not surviving without the comfort of their friends. Sadie Burton, a freshman, said that because we are doing school online, “…it’s harder to communicate with my friends because I typically stay home on the weekend, so school is the only social time I have.” Olivia Freeman, a sophmore, said, “I am a busybody, and I have to be with people!” She also said that, “…it really sucks not being with [my friends] right now.” The main problem students are facing right now is lack of support. Students don’t just hang out with their friends; they support, help, and care for each other. A teen’s emotional support team is their friends and without them it can be very hard to find encouragement in these discouraging times.


The main thing people find attractive about online school is comfort and pacing. At school, you have a set 45 or so minutes to complete whatever you need. Carson Lepley, another freshman, said he prefers online school because he can go at his own pace. Maddie English, a senior, says, “I mean I like both; who doesn’t like sleeping in and working with your pjs on…” In normal school, there is more structure, so it can be a bit overwhelming.


The last difference between normal school and online school is the actual learning. Many students have realized that the flexibility and freedom of online school isn’t as great as it seems. Kara Cobb, another senior, said, “I thought online school might be easier, but I’ve realized I learn a lot better with an actual teacher… I like being able to be flexible when I do my work, but I rely strongly on structure. Without a set schedule, I don’t do too well, and I know a lot of other people who are having the same problems.” Students like the idea of staying home all the time and not having to go to school; however, they have all come to the realization that normal school is way more effective.


Online school is a concept that many people think would be great for them. For some people, online school would be great in order for them to have more flexibility. Students and parents alike are realizing they are taking teachers for granted. In the times when they need help the most teachers are always there like they are in a classroom. Mikayla Matthews, a freshman says that she prefers normal school because, “…now, all the fun aspects of school have been sucked away.” Some people may be able to handle the flexibility involved with online school, but everyone needs the social aspects of school. Many people have taken advantage of online calling in order to talk to their friends. With “social distancing” occurring all over the country, most students cannot physically escape their stressful workload. Those who can’t thrive with the flexibility and freedom of online school need structure and face-to-face help from their teachers in normal school to succeed.