Lack of Internet Connection Hampers Many Students

Distance Learning Adds Stress

Students+deal+with+a+lack+of+internet+access+while+learning+from+home.

Photo by Tristan Supples

Students deal with a lack of internet access while learning from home.

Bridgewater, Va.- Since Bridgewater College moved its classes to distance learning, some students are experiencing problems due to a lack of access to a stable internet connection.  

Living in remote areas that do not have access to an internet connection, or even cell phone service, is causing some students to have a harder time accessing their Canvas class pages, connecting to Zoom lectures or loading email. 

Even students with access to high speed internet are having technological issues at home because of the variety of programs they need to run and their computers may not be able to simultaneously handle them all. 

Junior Mayela Milian-Hernandez said that her Wi-Fi connection is sometimes unstable, and that she is worried because she can lose connection at any time while on a Zoom lecture. 

She is currently taking a class where the professor teaches the students how to use a specific software, so if she misses even just a little bit of the lecture, she can fall behind because of the loss of information.

Milian-Hernandez said that the combination of the unstable Wi-Fi from the location of her room in her house and the software that she has to run for her class makes her computer run a lot slower because of all of the tabs she has to keep open in order to do her classwork. 

“I can only imagine what it feels like for people who do not have high-speed internet. I feel like it is ten times harder for them to do work or listen to a lecture when their internet is constantly giving out,” said Milian-Hernandez. “They end up missing what was said and fall behind. It is really not fair.”

In addition to colleges closing their doors, many businesses have done so as well unless the state has declared their operations essential. This means that entire families can need to be online at the same time including younger family members who may be doing their K-12 classes online.

The increased demand furthers the problem of internet connectivity as the more people sharing a single network can affect internet speed. 

“Both of my parents are working from home, and I have a brother in middle school and a sister in high school,” said senior Mallorie Whaley. “My brother and sister are doing online schooling which takes up a lot of internet. We try to give each other time slots to get work done so that we can each accomplish our work.” 

With the semester coming to a close, stress levels among students are typically high; not having a stable internet connection may that stress level soar even higher. 

“Not to mention the people who do not have access to the internet at all. What are they doing? How are they getting help?” asked Millian-Herandez. “Not only is it hard for them, it is hard for everyone because we are not able to achieve the learning we need, want and pay for.”