Online vs. F2F: Which is Better?


With the open options for online and face-to-face (F2F) learning this year, it can seem like both sides are completely different worlds viewing each other through the lens of the pandemic. It’s understandable with the confusion of the new situation to be in the dark about what’s happening on the other side — so freshman Catherine Boedecker and senior Maya Jagdev weighed in on what exactly the benefits and drawbacks are to each. 

Boedecker (F2F):

What were your expectations after finding out we’d be online?

I thought it would be like the end of eighth grade year with the optional Zoom meetings, and it was so easy that they literally couldn’t fail you. Well, they can fail you [now]. And you have to do your work. You have to be on Zoom each day, each morning, and each period. It’s definitely harder for me. I don’t like doing online school — I feel like it’s so hard to keep up with what you have to do for classes.

What are the differences between F2F and online?

They give you a better time frame of what to do because they’ll keep updating you about what’s going on, and they give me paper copies which I really love because I can’t remember what to do, so it helps me out.

Are you worried about getting sick? Is that an issue for you right now?

It kind of is. I’m noticing how some of my teachers are coughing in our classes now. It stresses me out. [But] it’s still better than online, at least for me. They can actually teach you and show you what you did wrong, and they can help you figure out questions. That helps me so much more than online, because I couldn’t do that and I was using my phone, so I had a harder time using Zoom.

What was the thing you were looking forward to most of all with F2F?

I think I was just ready to see all my friends again, but then I realized we’re all spread out and I’m not going to be able to see all of them.

How many people are usually in your classes?

It differs. A few of my classes have maybe seven to 12 people in them, and the rest are maybe 15 to 25 people.

Do you think it’s easier to socialize and talk to people while F2F?

Yeah, it is kind of easy because you’re all there. You’re already establishing a bond, so it’s easier to make friends. I did not expect it to be like that at all.

What was the main thing you were looking forward to with freshman year in general, before online school?

I think I was just ready to meet new people and establish myself as a new person because I’m moving into high school. I’m a whole new person. I’ve been able to express myself pretty well, and I’m proud of that. I can express my opinions more freely because a lot of people will agree as well, and we all share similar interests so it’s easy to make friends with people, so I feel like that’s so much easier than KVA.


Jagdev (Online):

What were your original expectations for senior year before the pandemic?

Honestly, I didn’t really have that many expectations just because I was excited for college more than anything. But I was excited to do things for the last time, like go to the homecoming game and prom and walk through the halls for the last time and drive away from school. I was more picturing the end of the year than the beginning, just that kind of nostalgic air during the year.

After finding out that everything was going to be online, how did your expectations change?

Coming out of junior year, with the [first] taste of online school, I expected senior year to be relatively easy. So my expectations didn’t really change in that respect, but I was kind of sad because I [didn’t] know how long this was going to last, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to do those things that I wanted to do for the last time.

What are the main challenges with online school so far?

I think it’s just getting used to the testing. The math courses are a lot harder to adapt to. It’s a bit stressful with the timing because you have to finish things within the period, but other than that, I don’t think there are that many challenges. I think it’s relatively easy to adapt to.

Are you planning on returning F2F?

Absolutely not. Unless they force me to go, I’m not doing it. I’ve grown into myself now and I’d rather start fresh in college. I think my expectations I wanted to have this year are let go of. I just want to get through the year now, regardless of whether it’s in school.

For the freshmen, how do you think their freshman year now will be different from yours?

I went to Fish Camp when I was a freshman before, and I got a tour of the school. I got to talk to some of the upperclassmen and that was kind of helpful for me because the thing I was most worried about was getting to classes. I was expecting to be very independent, and now that kids are stuck at home, they don’t get that extra sense of independence that you do when you get to just roam the hallways, because that’s a big part of high school even though you’re still a freshman.

If you could go back to freshman year, would you rather have had it online or the way you did originally?

I think being in school helped me get out of the middle school mindset. Even though the work wasn’t necessarily hard for me, I still had to do more work in general. So I think having it in school helped that. I think [freshmen now] are going to struggle next year because they don’t have that experience.

What advice do you have for freshmen who are dealing with everything right now?

Don’t think about it too much. This is going to end — it’s not going to go on forever, and you aren’t the only one who is going to not have been able to adapt yet. Everyone is adapting at the same rate you are. Just don’t worry too much. Your social life will fix itself, and worst case scenario, you always have college. Get your work done. Regardless of if you’re at home, keep your grades up — your freshman year sets your GPA. I know you’re probably lazy because you’re at home, but don’t slack off because it’s going to be even harder for you.