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Expectation Vs. Reality: Virtual College Classes

Classes may be virtual, but the struggle is still real.

In partnership with Adobe Creative Cloud, we invited 10 Gen Z creatives to tell their stories on BuzzFeed. Check out Make The Feed for more content from Generation Create.

1. Expectation: Being on time for class because you don’t have to commute.

A student walks to class

Reality: You're 45 minutes late to your hour-long lecture.

A person stops in their tracks with the caption: "When you realize you forgot you had lecture"

2. Expectation: Waking up early to study before class.

A college students studies their notes for an exam

Reality: You wake up at noon — on a good day.

An alarm clock set to 6:00 a.m. but the entire image is crossed out

3. Expectation: Catching up on schoolwork and completing assignments with no distractions.

A college student happily completes assignments at their desk

Reality: Your family members or roommates shout outside your door while you’re doing a presentation.

A frustrated student waves their arms frantically

4. Expectation: Setting up the perfect workspace at home so you can be productive.

a tidy and organized desk space with annotations saying "wow!" "neat!"

Reality: Your ~productive~ workspace may have started looking less like a desk and a chair and more like your unmade bed.

A cozy-looking but unmade bed with a laptop

5. Expectation: Turning on your webcam to interact with the professor and other students.

A focused student attends a virtual class with a laptop and headphones

Reality: You’re sitting on your bed and wearing the same pajamas you've had on for three days straight.

A person yawns while working on their bed

6. Expectation: Taking a short, 20-minute nap between classes.

A student takes a short nap at their desk

Reality: You wake up two hours later.

A student is fast asleep at their desk

7. Expectation: Paying attention and taking notes in class because your friends aren't there to distract you.

A student highlights their notebook while taking notes

Reality: You’re messaging friends during class...complaining about said class.

A frustrated person is texting on their phone with a caption that frantically reads "help"

8. Expectation: Thinking the professor will adjust the syllabus because of the pandemic and give less assignments.

A student reads a paper with the caption: "happily reading the new syllabus"

Reality: You have three projects due in two days, a discussion post due tomorrow, and a midterm next week.

A completely stressed-out person stares at their laptop screen

9. Expectation: Deciding you ~won't~ procrastinate on your assignment and will finish it two days before the deadline.

A stack of books and homework with an alarm clock on top

Reality: You’re suddenly trying to BS your way through a 2,000-word paper five minutes before it's due.

A student thinks at their desk, "Ugh I have so much work"

10. Expectation: Going to your professor's office hours now that you have more free time.

A student attends a video call using their laptop

Reality: You missed every office hours. Oh, and the exam is on Monday.

A calendar with a date circled and a note that basically shouts the words: "Final exams"