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My Virtual Learning Life at Age 30s - Man Seng Chin

I would never expect that I will continue pursuing my master’s degree at age of 30s at Torrens University Australia as an international student. I decided to further my studies to improve my knowledge and skills, meantime I would like to fulfil and achieve my target of life by obtaining a master qualification. I have been away from the life of university for about nine years, many things have changed that required a strong and fast pace of adaptability particularly in this pandemic situation.

The impact of the pandemic and the evolution of technologies have changed our lifestyle, buying behaviour and spending pattern in society nowadays. Many industries are struggling throughout the pandemic, similarly to education when lecturers and students are required to join in the world of technology in learning and lecturing. While I was ready and prepared to move out from my home country to Australia, unfortunately, both countries have locked down. I have been informed that the university will apply the online class method which I was not confident to accept it and I have deferred my course for about two terms. However, I pursued myself that not to waste time and take it as a challenge, be part of a virtual life experience. To be honest, I was quite disappointed and upset at that moment because I missed the opportunity to enjoy the full experience at campus.

When the class commence, what I can share is all about technology, but this has made me ‘wow’ by recognising that technology is so advance and convenient nowadays. I would agree that it is a challenging new style of a learning experience for me. I was struggling with my online study experience because I am not a person kind of interest in technology. It looks awkward when all-time facing the laptop for online classes, I was kind of reluctant to unmute myself and open the camera because I feel a lack of confidence. But after a while, I managed to adapt myself and be positive in this virtual study experience although I could not experience it on campus. Lecturers are very supportive and always encourage us to participate in class. Throughout the terms and subjects, I have built my confidence and I like to participate in class because we are given the opportunity to share and learn in the class. If we have further questions that would like to clarify, we are always allowed to reach out to the lecturers by sending them an email or make a consultation. I ever told my lecturer that I am scared to disturb them by asking questions, however, I have been informed that be confident and keep learning by asking, stay with a positive attitude of learning. I feel so grateful and motivated when I get valuable advice from lecturers. I never have this feeling and attitude of learning by being actively participating in the class.

The other challenges that I have faced in my current university life are time zone and group work. Because we are unable to meet on campus and all from different countries around the world. Time zone is one of the key factors hardly to match with when it comes to group work. We understand that that group work requires teamwork and responsibility, it is vital to communicate and motivate team members. We need to work together and improve together, lead the team if there is no one to take initiative. This will allow you to train your leadership and communication skills. Many aspects have turned into virtual events and virtual experiences nowadays, grab the opportunity to participate in those events which will provide new experiences in your life. When someone has a conversation about virtual experience, we can share ours and understand each other experiences to gain knowledge.

As a student, be passionate about your learning. The slogan of Torrens University ‘Love what you do’ really inspires me plus the logo is an orange colour which is my flavour colour. Remember to stay positive and keep the faith, positive thinking is not only about expecting the best to happen, but it is also about accepting, whatever happens, is for the best. We will face lots of challenges in different chapters of our life. However, I always believe that there will be a light of hope when we are facing an unpleasant situation. I am looking forward to visiting the campus someday to meet up with my classmates and lecturers.

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