By Andru McCracken

Like many students in the valley Jennette Lin is back in her hometown while taking university courses. Her family runs the Kilin Restaurant in McBride. Jennette just started her second year of economics at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

What is it like being a student in the age of COVID?
I find taking courses from home to be less engaging since I was always accustomed to in-person teaching. Also, learning through a screen isn’t the most enjoyable at times, but given the current situation, I think it’s not going too bad.

The benefits are that it is more flexible. For example, some of my courses are delivered asynchronously (pre-recorded), so it gives me the option to learn the material at a time that works best for me. I definitely find it financially easier because I’m currently saving money on rent.

Some drawbacks I find with remote learning is that it is difficult to make meaningful connections with my classmates or instructors since everything is held virtually. For example, I’ve gotten to know some people through online group projects, but I find that the connection with these people only lasts until the work is complete,whereas the people that I’ve met pre-covid, I still keep in touch with.

What do you miss about being away from campus?
The things that I miss about being away from campus would be the residence and school community. I miss interacting with the people that I’ve met while living in residence, or with the staff at the dining hall. I also miss school events like clubs and sports games. I also miss the view of Metro Vancouver since our campus is situated on top of Burnaby mountain.

How are you involved in the community back home?
I’m not too sure if I’m very involved with the community back home, but it is nice to interact with community members who come into the restaurant.

What do you do for fun while home?
I like to cook food for myself and spend time with my family.

How does your family feel about you being here?
I think my family is happy that I am home right now because I can help out with the family business. My brothers also seem happy most of the time and I think this is because we all have a pretty good relationship with each other.