Turning Worry to an Opportunity: Student Life Hacks in Transitioning to Digital Learning

by Angelbert Z. Hernandez

In the emergence of the global pandemic, it had greatly disrupted how each individual do their typical routines. It had adversely affected different life dimensions such as physical, intellectual, emotional, financial, social, vocational, environmental, and spiritual, thus leading to feel negative emotions, think of irrational thoughts, and behave with confusion and uncertainty.

Since no one is exempted when it comes to these challenges, it is quite evident that learners themselves also had different questions in mind on how this health crisis will greatly impact their learning journey.  More concerns arise for those learners who have very limited resources and have even issues related to striking a balance between survival vis-à-vis intellectual. That the transition from residential classroom to open distance learning has now been a barrier rather than a deliverer of knowledge. On the other hand, for those learners who have more than enough, it doesn’t mean that all are going smoothly, and the situation is on their favor. Concerns such as those learners who used to live alone, either living in dormitories/condominiums or at their own homes yet parents/guardians are currently away, had no opportunity to be with their second family in the persons of their teachers and classmates. Also, due to too much exposure to their available gadgets, it also affects their lifestyle, and it increases their dependency to cope on it instead of honing their innate skills. Likewise, feelings of boredom, helplessness and worst come worst, even hopelessness can also manifest if this has not been given proper attention. Therefore, besides the fear of getting the virus, it can also have a toll on how learners control their lives not only academically but even in life in general.

Given this situation, this are the four manageable ways to lessen learners’ worries especially as they shift from traditional to digital learning. This can be remembered using the acronym CARE.

Cherish the moment

Savor the change. Admit your authentic thoughts and feelings about the transition. It is not expected that you will totally accept right away. Have the taste and feel of the online platform. The challenges one encounter is a great opportunity to discover not only your skills in coping to the digital classroom but also how one deal with life’s experiences. This will serve as a litmus test of one’s patience, understanding, and resilience.

Appreciate one’s resources

Be thankful of what you have and recognize that you also don’t have. Even if it is not the latest model of a laptop, it is still a laptop compared to none! Even if mobile phone is not so high-end, the fact that one can still read the materials and have means of communication is still a good thing. Even if the data is not so stable, still having the opportunity to be enrolled is already a blessing that one must never forget. Do not also use the gaps in technology as reasons for not learning. Laptops, mobile phones, and internet connections are not the sole means of acquiring knowledge. Remember that they are just only medium but not the ultimatum.

Reach out

Since the school is considered as second home, do not hesitate to seek help from them. Ask assistance from the school administration, non-teaching personnel, professors, and classmates. Everyone is adjusting so one must not worry that he/she is the only one facing the challenges. Maximize what the school can offer and allow each one in the academic community to contribute in dealing with the concerns. Only the physical interaction changed but the emotional connection is still there, even stronger!

Embrace the change

Acceptance is the key to make one’s academic life prosper. The situation is beyond one’s control. Therefore, focus on what you can only control. Change is inevitable and one must bear with it. Academic life using online platform may be a bit difficult at start yet on the later run, one can get used to it. Just go on with the process. One day, this current situation will just only be a part of your past and one can tell him/herself that I was able to conquer it, not just simply but incredibly! Make the unusual your natural! Turn the worry into an opportunity!


Angelbert Z. Hernandez is a Registered Guidance Counselor (RGC), Registered Psychometrician (RPm) and Licensed Professional Teacher (LPT). He earned his Master degree in Guidance and Counseling from UST and his Bachelor’s degree at MCU. He is currently a part time faculty of the Psychology Department starting AY 2020-21.