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Student Reflection

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Sabina Muratbek - 9th Grade
Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Physics and Mathematics; Taraz, Kazakhstan

"In Kazakhstan, since 16 March of 2020, a state of emergency has been declared due to the spread of Coronavirus… Students must leave their schools for two weeks and pursue the study through distance mode."

After this command, we left school without knowing where we would be studying for more than nine months. COVID-19 has significantly affected all sectors of my life and the lives of all students in the world. During this difficult period of time, someone benefited, and someone suffered. We, the students, lost the opportunity to study traditionally, which impacted our education. Learning without the opportunity to communicate with the teacher and students in person became more complicated than we thought. Despite the fact that there were some problems with the Internet and online applications, teenagers could adapt to the new learning modes. 

I want to share my little experiences over these pandemic years with you. Honestly, I had no idea what "online learning" was in 7th grade. Nonetheless, I tried to study well and keep up with everything. I passed all my exams, completed my first biology project in the new school, and finished fifth grade of violin in distance learning. It was not easy to follow up on all the tasks from lessons and spend my time purposeful and productively. For instance, it was hard to balance the time allocated for study, clubs, and sports. That was when I learned to define time-management skills and improve my productivity. 

During my first and last online learning year, I had to wake up at 8 am except on weekends. Every day, I'm supposed to join online lessons or do my home tasks and take exams. It's difficult to focus on studying when at home—even though there are fewer lessons than traditional learning. These online lessons get tedious because there is no communication with your closest people and no fascinating stories. Sitting at a computer, I lost my physical fitness and became sleepy. 

Moreover, it affected my physical health and my mental health. Suddenly, daily routines made me stressed, even aggressive, and burned out emotionally. I lost contact with my best friends. As a result, all my school exams lost their importance. In addition, it seems that students are more active at school than in online study. They could compete with each other trying to be better than each other. It gave an incentive to study, and it was more useful. Even teachers were reluctant to teach us because they faced such a challenging training format for the first time. Unfortunately, students' grades for the year of the pandemic only worsened, which led to a massive decrease in the quality of knowledge. 

Despite the COVID-19 period, in our contemporary world, there is no limit to doing whatever you want. I hope each of us took great experiences from 2020 for our whole life. I also believe that you could take only positive sides and rich adventures out of this time because it can mean for your future career. The COVID-19 period is one of the most important and discomforting years of my life. I will not just forget this magnificent *COVID-19*.