Student Shares Unexpected Benefits of Online Learning
Southern California native Kelly Duong began her college career at California State University, Northridge, where she planned to double major in Business and Graphic Design. But when she arrived on campus, she was told that wasn’t possible, so Kelly decided to focus on Graphic Design. But she quickly realized she would be better suited to a college that specialized in creativity. “FIDM was actually my dream school when I was younger, but that was when I wanted to go into fashion,” said Kelly, a Graphic Design Student at the San Francisco campus who is expected to graduate in spring 2021. “So I think it’s a little funny that I'm attending my childhood dream school for a completely different major.” We recently checked in with Kelly to learn about her online learning experience.
Where were you born and raised? I’ve lived in Santa Clarita, California for the majority of my life; it’s a little north of LA. It’s close enough that when people ask where I’m from I just say LA. But even though I live close to the LA campus, I attend the San Francisco campus because I wanted a change of scenery.
How did you adjust to online learning when Covid first hit the U.S.? I think I got lucky with my major and online learning because Graphic Design is already an industry that can be done pretty remotely, and I have taken online courses prior so it wasn’t a hard adjustment. However, I do miss being in class and getting feedback and critique directly. It is definitely easier in person, but it can be done remotely, and the adjustment learning curve isn’t too steep.
Have you interacted with more students than you normally would have with in-person classes? I actually have made friends at different campuses through the online courses because they mix all the campuses together. This quarter, I have a “support group,” as we call it, with two other students who are both at the LA campus. It’s also nice to see some new faces in class since the San Francisco campus is small; I’m usually in class with the same people. It helps seeing other people’s work and styles to give me some different and new ideas for designs.
Have there been any other positive aspects to online learning? The positives would be getting to know new people and building a bigger student community with students from different campuses. Presenting can be a little wonky with the screen sharing options in Zoom, but overall, it is less stressful presenting in my opinion, not having to stand in front of the class, but instead being a small box on someone’s screen with the main focus on the work with your commentary.
What are you most looking forward to when you return to in-person classes? I’m most looking forward to just being in class, sitting at a desk that isn’t the one in my room, with other people around, and being able to lean over and ask someone for an opinion on something I designed or how to do something. I think I just look forward to the human aspect and the environment of being in a classroom. FIDM is a great school, and I look forward to getting back to class.
Keep up with Kelly on Instagram @kellyaduong