Tashkent students struggle with internet connection and staying focused when it comes to online classes. Yet, they know this is what’s necessary to keep their peers safe.
For Webster student Anora Sabirova, life offered new challenges when her classes at Webster University Tashkent were moved online. According to her, certain areas in Uzbekistan are not the best place for an internet connection. She, as well as her peers in other areas of the country, struggle to turn in work on time and over a stable internet connection. Many professors are understanding of this and do not make students’ grades suffer for it.
Sabirova is a business major who is used to in-person classes. When classes moved online, she found herself craving human connection and the chance to read people better.
“Having Zoom conferences is definitely the best solution, but due to my extrovert personality, I feel like I am talking alone with myself,” Sabirova said.
Jamshid Karimov, another student at Webster University’s Tashkent campus, points out the similar issues with Zoom. He felt their student body and campus were not ready for remote learning on that large a scale.
Overall, Karimov would not consider himself as a pessimistic person. He looks within himself to keep going and that pushes him to continue doing his best.
“Times of crisis like this help people realize what a fantastically great idea it is to live a fulfilling life, whatever that means to someone,” Karimov said.
Sabirova mentioned she can read people and spot lies better in-person than over a Zoom call. She said the biggest disappointment is getting feedback online rather than in person.
“Taking knowledge and feedbacks from the best professionals and gaining skills – cannot be transferred into an online format, because all those things give you a special feeling and emotions which you are not able to buy,” Sabirova said
Dilobar Yavmutdinova’s said her world was turned upside down with other students as she learned how to use Zoom and other applications. She’s the Vice-President for Student Government Association (SGA) Tashkent. The students did rally and manage despite the difficulties, but she misses her nice campus and wishes she could go back.
“The SGA elections were held online this year,” Yavmutdinova said. “It was inconvenient for candidates for the positions to show up. And it was a struggle for students too because they got information about candidates only by watching their speeches.”
Yavmutdinova assessed the situation as not allowing the SGA members to reach their full potential. Their SGA moved everything online.
Webster University Tashkent student Akbar Gafurov has adapted to the pandemic, accepting online learning as part of the 21st Century. His main struggle is staying focused in an online environment. Gafurov isn’t in a rush and does his best to remain relaxed while his group-mates complain of being on their laptops all the time.
He hasn’t met any of his classmates in person and misses the chance of seeing them in the cafeteria.
“This was taken from me, but don’t get me wrong, I understand why we are living the way we are living. If this can save people, I’m willing to keep studying like that,” Gafurov said.
Yavmutdinova also struggles with staying focused in online classes and dealing with the distractions of snacks and laying on her bed, much like other students. What has helped her most is the administration and one of the college counselors who gives out “life hacks” to help other students.
For Gafurov, the isolation messes with him, but the advantages of not having to drive out to the campus helps him. He video chats his friends every so often and spends his time improving himself.
“I hope more people will just try to offset these problems with some positive thoughts, even if it seems there is nothing good left in the world,” Gafurov said.