Online Learning. A blessing or a struggle? 

By Monica Lungile Mhlongo 

Being a first-year student is difficult. There are several problems that first-year students face. Online learning has made it more difficult for first-year students to adjust to university life. 

Some students come from poor backgrounds where they are not familiar with some things. Some of the first-year students lack resources to attend online learning like smartphones, laptops, and any other electronic devices. They also face challenges of learning to use Microsoft Teams, creating student emails and even logging into student portal. 

Some students struggle to adjust to university because they are in a new unfamiliar environment; others come from different provinces, making it extremely difficult for them to adjust to the new environment, including new people, new places, and even different weather conditions, which negatively impacts their health. “The first time I came here in Port Elizabeth, it was difficult for me because I had to make new acquaintances, get adjusted to the location, and it’s even harder to make good friends,” Reon Smith said. 

It had been noticed that some first-year students end up developing bad habits, do things that they never did before just because they are trying to get friends or to fit in. Others end up drinking, smoking, and partying every day because of the type of friends that they have and trying to be like them, peer pressure. 

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