DisreGuardian: A day in the Life of a Zoom Student

The “Glee” cover of “Don’t Stop Believing” has been your trusty alarm sound since eighth grade. This morning was no different. You awake to the blaring vocals, ready to take on Spring Quarter. As you turn on your phone to check the time, however, panic begins to stir in your stomach. It’s 7:57 a.m., you are late for your first class. 

You snapped up, spotted an old hoodie laying at the foot of your bed and throw it on. 7:58. You lunge toward your nightstand, grab the brush you placed there the night before, and begin quickly running the comb through your knotted hair. 7:59. You dart out of your room to grab your laptop charger, and finally, plug in your laptop which was lying beside you on your bed. You pull your blankets around you as you whip open the screen and click on the Zoom link your professor had emailed the class prior. 8:00. You are just in time. As someone who can barely wake up at 8 a.m., using Zoom for classes is a blessing in disguise, every extra minute of sleep is well appreciated. 

Once your class ends, you decide it is time to get dressed, after all, you have a full day of classes ahead of you. You reach into your closet to grab a fresh pair of sweatpants and a new hoodie, and head to get breakfast. Gone are the days of wearing stiff, uncomfortable jeans; Zoom University looks out for its students like no other. 

The dining hall you are at this morning doesn’t take dining dollars, or even Triton Cash. Then you even have to make your pancakes all by yourself. But at least there is no line. Once the pancakes are ready, you sit down at the dining hall table to eat and Zoom into your next class. 

Your professor has a strict no eating during discussion policy; the punishment for breaking it required the student to conduct a Zoom cooking lesson for the section on how to make whatever they were caught eating. So you make sure to lean out of the frame as you quietly eat the pancakes. Your eyes are darting back and forth between your food and your computer screen every few seconds, and you make sure to make your Zoom background an old selfie so that every time you lean out of frame the professor won’t notice. Someone should teach a class on the tips and tricks of Zoom; the strange platform has so much untapped potential, so many odd hacks. The most innovative learning tool since airpods were made. 

 You think you are doing a pretty good job of being discrete until your mother walks into the kitchen, unaware that you are on a Zoom call. 

“Wow, when did you make pancakes?” your mother practically yells. You feel the eyes of your peers burning holes into you, you are mortified. You immediately mute your microphone and keep your head down for the rest of class.  

Once that nightmare is over, you have half an hour to kill before your last class, so you decide to spend it studying your favorite topic: TikTok. After about 15 minutes of scrolling, you come across a video on how to make whipped coffee; you are instantly struck with inspiration. You scour the kitchen for instant coffee, and after digging through about five different cupboards you find a small jar. Quarantine coffee has been hard to come by, so you have to get it right the first time; you study the video meticulously, grab some sugar, and begin combining the ingredients. After 20 minutes of mixing the coffee, you are left with a sore arm and delicious whipped coffee. The convenience of having online classes does wonders for your wallet; gone are the days of waiting in line to pay $5 for a latte. 

All is well until you remember that you have a class. You lunge toward your laptop, yet again, and scramble to log on. You get to class five minutes late, iced coffee in hand. The fact that even while quarantined at home, unable to go anywhere or do anything, you still manage to lose track of time, brought on a new level of shame. If only there was a Zoom equivalent of sneaking in the back of a lecture hall to avoid the shame of being late. The platform completely disregards the feelings of latecomers, not to mention that it’s practically impossible to fall asleep on a call without someone noticing. 

Deprived of your midday nap, and exhausted, your final class of the day finally ends. You are ready to relax. You put your headphones and begin your long commute home, leaving your living room and trekking up the stairs to your bedroom. You change back into your nighttime sweatpants and hoodie upon arrival, and take a much needed nap.