Nicholas Cobb, a Louisiana Tech Elementary Education major from Glen Oaks, used his time of quarantine and distance learning as a time to build up his optimism, resilience, and perseverance.
While finishing his junior year during a global pandemic, he chose optimism and pursued academic excellence. But first, he had to deal with disappointment.
“When I first heard about the decision to transition from face-to-face courses to online learning, I was immediately resentful,” Cobb said. “Being a hands-on learner, I thought it would not be an effective way of learning.”
After wrestling with the idea of online learning, Cobb discovered ways to enhance his experience and grow as a learner.
“While in quarantine, I have definitely tripled my eating,” he said, “but I have also found new ways to occupy myself. It has allowed me more time to rest and learn more about myself. I’ve learned better study habits. With online learning, I am able to control my learning with video lectures — pausing, rewinding, or fast-forwarding as needed. I am now more disciplined with my study habits.”
However, along with his school work, Cobb faced another level of adversity during quarantine — living hundreds of miles from his family.
“The toughest part of this season was being separated from my friends and family,” said Cobb, who’s had relatives test positive for COVID-19.
However, the silver lining was becoming a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., a “brotherhood that’s truly been uplifting and motivational through this entire pandemic,” he said. “From constantly checking on me to making sure all of my needs are met, my fraternity has truly been a light in this dark situation.”
Cobb is active in the Black Student Union, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and Call Me M.I.S.T.E.R.
Throughout this spring quarter, he has continued living on campus in the Pearce Commons suites, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, where he transformed his living room into his study space and developed a routine.
“I wake up, freshen up, then praise and worship while I cook breakfast,” Cobb said. “While eating breakfast, I check my email and either watch ESPN or Law and Order SVU. Then, I log onto Zoom for class, which usually runs into the afternoon. Most of my afternoons are spent doing homework, spending at least an hour on each class.”
Though he did not take any major-specific classes during the spring, Cobb was grateful representatives of the College and his department reached out on multiple occasions to ensure that he and other COE students were safe mentally and physically.
“Having that type of support from your department is very uplifting,” he said.
Cobb embraced this quarter of adversity. He chose to be thankful and hopeful for when life can resume safely with loved ones and friends.
His hope for his Tech Family is to remain strong in faith and resilient when faced with difficulty, to choose light even when things seem dark, and to learn something new to take with you when quarantine ends.
As a future educator, Cobb said quarantine allowed him sufficient time to reflect on teaching methods from his practicum, both positive and negative.
“This season, many young students saw their upperclassmen miss opportunities that people cherish for a lifetime,” he said. “No proms, no graduations, no college acceptance days, and more. For once in America — Caucasians, Black-Americans, Asians, Mexicans, Chinese, the rich and the poor — we are all going through the same thing. I hope my future students can realize that we are equal, and that the classroom is our place to enjoy one another while learning the adequate tools to have a successful life.”