Uni Life

On Campus VS Online

Classes have offically kicked off for Semester 1, 2021. Phoebe Metcalfe reflects on how different the F2F classes this year will be from the compulsory online ones of last year.

I’ve never been one for online learning. I would go out of my way to avoid classes only offered via distance education. Being a people-person I loved the face-to-face format of learning, it was always refreshing to have that contact with my peers and have the influence of their perspectives to engage further in my learning.


Since 2020 imposed compulsory online learning my entire schedule, learning patterns, and study habits have changed entirely. I’m not sure if I can ever go back to putting myself together every morning to be socially acceptable for society.

I have formed a list to convince myself, and perhaps you too, that there are definitely benefits to going back on campus:

On Campus Classes – Pros


Maintaining a schedule is super important to keep yourself organised during the semester. Having to get yourself from one side of campus to the other gets your adrenaline pumping, your heart rate up, and you actually feel like you’ve done something for the day.


Wowee, I’ve missed people. I had my first year in my new degree last year and it’s so much harder to make friends with grey screens on Zoom. Suffering mutually with your peers while finalising that essay at 11.30pm, coffee in hand, at the NUSpace 24 hour common is an experience unmatched.

Partying, Baby!

Forget watching a movie on your phone at 7pm while you’re in bed…you can get out there at Bar on the Hill with people in your degree! You’re stuck with them for 3-8 years (maybe more).

On Campus Classes – Cons

The Bloody Mozzies at Callaghan

It was so nice not to smell like insect repellant, or be eaten alive when you thought you were safe.


Car, bus, train, tram, or even just your legs, getting to class is an effort. Let’s not even mention parking…


Look out, the first weeks of the semester are the absolute worst. Parking on any of our campuses is a pain in the butt. The fees, the space, the walking from the car park, it’s all just horrible.

Online Classes – Pros


You can take these classes where ever you want! I had people in some of my tutorials last year on Zoom while they were commuting (we do not encourage this, how much of the tute are you really taking in?). It’s easier to make these classes fit your personal schedule, instead of working your personal schedule around your classes.


More people have the opportunity to access what the University of Newcastle has to offer when studying via distance or online. This has a lot to do with the previous point, flexibility.


Need I say more? Rolling out of bed (sometimes not even that) to immediately join your class was bliss.

Online Classes – Cons


As nice as the sleep-ins are, it’s so hard to motivate yourself to actually do any work. Studying in your personal space can be difficult because the bed is so close, and the fridge is right there for any procrasti-snack. You have to be responsible for your own schedule and routine, and you don’t have peers there to furrow their brows in disappointment at you.

Screen Time

This was a big one for me. I had to get glasses because of the migraines my screen time last year was giving me. Constantly staring at your laptop and phone for lectures and tutorials can be a big detriment to your physical and mental health. They say to stare into the distance every 20 mins or so, but really, how many of us actually do that?

There’s No Bar

Drinking while you’re studying alone at home is less acceptable than, say, having a schooner at the Bar on The Hill, with your peers, in between tutorials on campus. You miss out on making those connections mentioned in the Campus Pros.

All in all, going back to F2F classes may be a shock to the system, and we have to put up with more things out of our control *cough* parking *cough*, but I’d rather be there in the classroom surrounded by like-minded people, than study alone.

Feature Image: by Tim Gouw via Unsplash, no changes made.


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