The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the position of ZU Media or APU

Online learning has created more opportunities for students to participate in other activities.

Zoom: perhaps not the platform we would have chosen or the time in our lives we would have wanted to utilize it. However, since the pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon, let’s celebrate the advantages this technology has provided us with. 

One major advantage of having Zoom classes is the portability these classes provide. With the ability to study from anywhere, you can dedicate more time with your family or you can take your classes with you and study in a more remote location. 

Chi Lin, a senior at Azusa Pacific University studying criminal justice and philosophy, has decided to take his work with him and go hiking in northern California for the next two months of the semester. 

“I feel better in nature. It is calm and the world is at peace. The feeling of reverence between nature and personal self has been a large part of humanity’s personal character development and personal entertainment,” said Lin. “Since it is possible to pick up and go, why not?”

Another advantage of the zoom format is it reveals just how much time there is to work on things. Frequently, a college student’s time is filled with commuting between classes or to campus, working and socializing. With the pandemic limiting those peripheral pursuits for most people, that time is now being funneled into other projects. 

Rosie Gary, a recent graduate of Asbury University with a bachelor’s in digital design, has used the time she is not teaching students on Zoom to create logos and websites for major brands. 

“Zoom school is not the best for the kids or me most of the time,” said Gary. “It can be incredibly difficult to teach on that platform, but the time that I have been able to dedicate to other things is remarkable. I can spend more time on art and design which is my passion, and I am able to still show kids what I expect of them and what needs to be done. I simply need to be more understanding about the difficulties as well.”

Although it can be more difficult to socialize with peers in Zoom classes, with the right professors and groups, it can actually be easier to meet up with other peers from your classes, no matter where they are studying from. 

I have been able to hop on a Zoom call with a friend who lives in New York and with another student who is living on campus a few apartments from mine, all while I was visiting a friend in Kentucky. Although time zones can be tricky to figure out, once you have a world clock app, there are a multitude of possibilities opened to you. 

One final benefit is that it is increasingly possible to contact and interact with people that would have otherwise been unreachable. Experts can be interviewed or brought into classes as guest lecturers, some exclusive conferences are open to students and meetings with hiring managers and company executives are easier to schedule than ever before. 

With all of these possibilities — despite the side effects of quarantine and the global pandemic — it would be naive not to celebrate them. Hopefully many of the doors Zoom has opened will not be neglected as soon as we can meet in-person again. 

We will all return to life as it was before. Yet, when we do, remember what you learned while we were all inside. Never forget how valuable time with your friends is, always make time for the things most important to you, connect with people both similar and different to you, no matter the distance between you, and always try and make time to learn and get better at your future career. 

Until we all leave home again, let’s celebrate what we have.