A year since the last in-campus class before the country was shut down to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, three students from different schools in Metro Manila said they longed to go back to school and study face-to-face with teachers and fellow learners.

Law student Fae Domingo and Grade 10 student Samantha Santos said they were initially happy that the class suspension would give them more time to study and relax at the same time.

“I was very happy. I was really struggling sa tax noon and sakto kasi midterm exam namin. They suspended the entire week. It gave me more time to master tax because I thought no, it’ll only last for a week, yung suspension,” Domingo told the PressOne.PH in an interview.

(I was very happy. I was really struggling with my tax course that time and it was our exam week. They suspended the entire week. It gave me more time to master tax because I thought the suspension would only last for a week.)

But one week became one month and one month has stretched to a year. It’s still not clear when face-to-face classes will resume.

“As days fly, relaxation and aimlessly spending time feels repeated. Every day felt like the same day, and the urge to go outside increased,” Santos said. 

Domingo however said being at home changed her student life because it taught her to be resourceful and to appreciate family time. 

UP student Dyanna Shandy Sarmiento said school life in the regular setting was different from the “new normal.” 

“Classes feel much more difficult and heavier–maybe because you feel alone, the lectures are crammed, or even just the general atmosphere feels hollow compared with the regular classes we had before,” she said. 

If there’s one thing that they miss about campus life, Domingo said that it would be the life of a student in the Metro. 

Being born and raised in the province, she said she missed the dorm, the “tipid” hacks, the commute and the traffic. 

Sarmiento and Santos said they also missed the social interaction.

“I just miss the ‘social’ aspect of learning. The feeling of being in a classroom with your professor and classmates cannot compare to what I am experiencing with online meetings and modules,” Sarmiento said.  

Santos said: “I miss my friends. They helped me through school and cheered for me until the end. Even though I value my alone time, I feel lonely without their presence. They are part of the reason why I look forward to attending school,” Santos said. J.V.V. Yap