Surviving Online School and Finally Reunited


A laptop placed on a tree stump surrounded by leaves.

After finishing the practical training period in March, we were supposed to continue our studies at the Nurmijärvi campus. But yet again, the already too familiar Covid-19 pandemic affected this plan and made everything very uncertain. Everyone was just waiting to see how the situation would evolve and many of us had to have all our plans on hold because of this.

Inkeri Aulio, Rebecca Palenius & Suzette Martin

It required patience and adaptability to deal with the time spent waiting. Sometimes it felt like the situation would never change. Eventually, we got the news that all the courses till May would be held online. It felt good to finally have some answers and be able to make plans for the spring time.

Adapting to studying online has been different for all of us in our class. For some, it might have felt like being stuck at home, not being able to meet people. Some of us travelled somewhere to study remotely. In a way, lectures given online have enabled us to be located anywhere with just a good enough internet connection, or sometimes just trying to cope with a bad one, but on the other hand, it has been hard to stay connected with our classmates.

A sign on a tackboard advertising Covid-19 disinfection service in the Kainuu area.
It was almost inevitable to hear about the Covid-19 pandemic, no matter where in Finland you were located. (Photo: Inkeri Aulio)

2021 it’s time to start the new year, and new study style ’’net schooling’’.

Good thing –> You don’t have to wear masks, while sitting alone behind the screen.

Bad thing –> It’s hard to decide when to have a lunch break, when you can have a snack at any time.

Online studying first felt a bit worrying for some students, especially in the beginning, when we were still lacking information about the future. Luckily, we were constantly informed about the arrangement of our courses. Some courses were transferred to later in autumn but most of the spring courses could be arranged online.

We were reminded by teachers to have breaks through our lectures, a cup of coffee and some snacks will motivate us to stay focused. Working the whole day with a computer might cause headache and stiffness. To treat our minds and bodies, on almost every lecture, we had some recess activity, which empowered us to endure studying.

A table with an open laptop, pencil case, a plate with a sandwich on it, a bowl with oatmeal and a mug of dark liquid.
It is important to take care of nutrition when studying online. (Photo: Suzette Martin)

Nowadays meeting platforms like Teams or Collaborate Ultra are pretty easy to use. Working in groups and planning activities online turned out to be fun and it also required a lot of brain work. Working online is not always that smooth, some might have an unstable internet connection and some might not be able to share a document on Collaborate. Patience and respect for others is part of an online etiquette that is good to follow.

Teachers and also students have brilliant ways to cope with any new situation. Even though we adventure and outdoor education students are used to having contact lessons and being active, we were still able to practice online studying in a different and educative way.

A person wearing glasses wrapped in a blanket with a sleep mask on their forehead.
It’s OK to make your study station comfortable! (Photo: Suzette Martin)

We Finally Made It Back to Campus in May!

First day back at campus was sunny and everyone was excited to see each other again after 6 months. We went through things like knots and belaying, things we already practiced in November, and learned some new things about getting ready to do outdoor climbing. We used trees to help us practice in an environment, where we had nowhere to climb, but it can be fun and it is a safe way to get the feeling you know what you are doing before going anywhere, where you go far off the ground.

A group of students learning how to use climbing gear by tying ropes on trees.
(Photo: Rebecca Palenius)

The next day, our class travelled to Hyvinkää to do outdoor climbing and repelling. The weather was perfect and after a short hike from the parking lot, we arrived at Jaanankallio and spent the day there. The atmosphere was energetic, focused on learning new things and enjoying the experience as a whole, bugs and all. 

During the day, we got to try climbing an actual cliff and for many, it was the first time ever. There were several routes on the cliff that we got to use and there often were several people climbing at the same time.

Simultaneously on the other end of the cliff, there were others doing repelling. Starting from the top, we first came down the cliff with an experienced climber making sure we don’t fall. After we felt like we could do it by ourselves, we got to come down independently.

A group climbing up a perpendicular rock, which is surrounded by trees.
(Photo: Elisa Juopperi)

Last modified: September 9, 2021