LIFE has been challenging for student-athletes as the Coronavirus pandemic not only wiped out all their trainings and tournaments, it also resulted in major changes in education.
Czarina Carandang, unable to finish her swan song with Far Eastern University due to the cancelation of UAAP Season 82, is embracing the new normal classes, while keeping her body in shape through home workouts with all the volleyball tournaments still on pause.
The BS Education Major in Sports Recreational Management student took up online summer classes, which started last June 10 and ended on Friday.
She attended video calls in class discussions, studied an online handout and took up quizzes and exams with strict time limit.
"Sa online discussion po namin, gumagamit po kami ng app yung Microsoft Teams. Then ibibigay niya po sa'min yung readings," Carandang told Spin.ph. "May recitations din po kami, magbibigay po ng assignments and activities si ma'am gaya ng mga ginagawa sa class room."
But the biggest challenge for the 5-foot-9 middle blocker? Their internet connection in Tanauan, Batangas.
"Medyo mahirap po kasi taga-bukid po ako. Yung connection po ng internet unstable po siya. Sa gabi lang po kasi siya malakas lakas kaya gabi na rin po usually nagagawa," said Carandang, who is also playing for PLDT in the Philippine Superliga.
"Siguro po yung iba na classmates ko rin (nahihirapan). Pero nakakaantala po talaga yung connection minsan po wala na akong maintindihan sa sinasabi ni Ma'am. Kapag nagtatanong po siya samin sa recitation hindi po namin maintindihan minsan kailangan pa po ulit-ulitin ganon," she added.
Although online classes at home have been challenging, the new normal education turned her into a more resourceful student.
"Naaalala ko po one time, yung presentation namin po ay mag-iisip kami ng birthday present for Rizal. Then naisip ko po gumawa ng tula and Philippine flag. Inextra ko pa po yung mga pamangkin ko para po sabay sabay kami tumula," she said. "Naghintay pa po kami tumawag si Ma'am hanggang sa feeling ko po hindi na niya na kami naririnig dahil napakalakas ng ulan during my presentation."
Despite the major adjustments, the 22-year-old is grateful that her school continues to provide them quality education, but she feels sad for the underprivileged students, who are struggling in this time of health crisis.
"Thankful po ako sa FEU sa pagiging considerate nila sa'ming mga students. Sa pagtutuloy ng quality education para sa'min sa kabila ng pandemic na ito," said the middle blocker.
"Good thing po nung summer nakita ko na po how it works. Nakita ko po na mas okay na din po ito kaysa sa physical class. Yun nga lang po hindi po talaga lahat ay mapalad na may panggastos sa internet and gadgets na gagamitin," she added.
Carandang, now ready for the next semester in August, is encouraging all students to keep their focus as she believes that all the learnings that they can get in this new normal classes will be worth it.
"Yung maipapayo ko lang po, yakapin lang nila yung “new norm” na sinasabi kasi hindi talaga madali lalo na sa connection. Wag magpapadistract kasi online class yan, madaming temptations," Carandang said. "Kailangan din maging patient ka, bandang huli mag aani lahat ng itinanim mo. Makakatapos din tayo."