Brisa Barriga said she had never taken a single online course before being forced to this year due to the ongoing public health crisis surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“For me personally I was a student who learned better in the classroom,” Barriga said. 

Like so many others in the world today, Barriga, 19, a returning soccer player for Yuba College, was forced to adjust her daily routine as Yuba College moved to an online format this year. 

Barriga, studying to become a pediatric nurse practitioner, said online learning involves a lot of self-discipline and developing a daily schedule. 

“It’s important to schedule your months, your week and make sure you know what you want to accomplish each day for each class,” she said. “If it wasn’t for this (pandemic) I never would have learned how to use Zoom or learn how to manage my time.” 

Now she’s fairly fluent, with distance learning. For Barriga, a day at Yuba College this year consists of waking up to start watching pre-recorded lectures while taking notes, followed by a short online tutoring session set aside for one of her hardest classes, physiology. On Thursday, Barriga said her professors offer a live Zoom session where students can type out any questions they have regarding the material covered. 

“(Distance learning) can be a benefit but also a negative if people are not able to manage their time correctly,” Barriga said. “You’re on your own.” 

Barriga said another significant adjustment this year was moving away from asking in-person questions to her teachers. 

“Typing out a question online was one of my biggest fears,” she said. 

But she’s learned a few tips and tricks from her tutor, as well in other areas. In an unprecedented year, Barriga said it’s important that everyone wake up and embrace a new reality. 

“I’m not looking at what I have lost, I am looking at what I can accomplish to get ahead,” she said. “I have all this extra time I can take advantage of.” 

That goes with soccer as well, as this time last year Barriga was practicing outdoors on the Yuba soccer field with her teammates. 

“We probably had a game already too,” Barriga said. 

Now, most of the time Barriga is home working out with her family and developing her game via online apps on her phone. 

Barriga’s coach, Cristina Baggio provides a few apps like team builder and run keeper – the latter challenges the team on who can run the most miles during a designated time frame. The app collects data on how fast and the average pace of the individual, Barriga said. 

“At the end someone is rewarded.” 

Barriga calls all the helpful apps and videos a nice transition to being able to keep in touch with her coach. 

“It’s like she’s there through videos,” Barriga said. 

In addition, she’s touching a soccer ball almost daily and working on her individual development at home, while dreaming of the day when she can be reunited with her Yuba College 49ers. 

“I can’t wait for that to happen, I miss my teammates,” Barriga said. 

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