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How to Make the Most Out of Your Online Semester from a College Junior

This semester is far from normal, as most college students are taking online classes or some form of hybrid classes. Our old  normal of in-person classes, fun first-week events, and meetings with friends are now a thing of the past.

Of course, this isn’t the worst thing because we are in the middle of a pandemic and to keep the ones you care about safe, what’s most important now is to wear a mask, social distance, and stay home when you can. So if you’re like me and are going fully remote this semester, here are my tips for online school as a college junior who got a 4.0 last semester

Have a Dedicated Workspace

Before classes start, set up a dedicated study space for yourself. Especially if you’re at home living with family. Having a space to yourself that’s quiet will help you focus and be productive when you have Zoom calls and exams. Feel free to make it your own with decor or string lights as well. In the past, I’ve always found making a space my own makes me happier and more motivated to get work done.

Read Over Syllabi

During the first week of school, make sure you read over the syllabi for all of your classes and take note of which assignments are worth the majority of your grade.  Be sure to already start writing important due dates for assignments and exams to get a feel for the upcoming semester.

Try & Get Ahead

Assignments will pile up if you let them, so always try to get ahead of assignments when they’re first assigned,not closer to the due date. Give yourself extra time for assignments because you never know when you might need it or circumstances arise in your health, family, job, or academic career. 

Be Early

When logging into Zoom classes, make sure you log on at least five minutes early in case you have technical difficulties or a teacher’s link isn’t working. That way you’ll have time to send an email or troubleshoot. 

Use Time Around Classes Wisely

Use the time before your classes to do homework and study. Always catch up on readings before classes so you can ask questions during your lectures. Before exams, study ahead of time so that you can attend office hours if something comes up during your studies that confuses you. In general, if you ever have questions, ask your professor, TA, or you peers.. It is always better to ask a question than not because you never know if it could be on the exam.

AGAIN...Complete Assignments Early

Again, I cannot emphasize how important doing assignments early is., so make sure in your planner to write every weekly assignment or tasks you want to tackle. Weekly to-do lists are always a great way to keep track of what you’ve accomplished and gauge if some assignments need more or less time to complete. 

Make Time for Yourself

Last but not least, remember to leave time for yourself to do things you enjoy. Set up incentives and rewards for yourself so you have things to look forward to. Like watching Netflix after working on assignments all day. Also, reach out to your friends,stay connected,and check up on them. This semester’s different for all of us, but at least it’s comforting to know that we’re all in this together, even if we’re all apart.

Overall, you can have a successful fall semester remotely, even if you’re not getting the same college experience. Stay focused on your studies and follow some of these tips if you find them helpful. Good luck to everyone who’s already started or is starting classes soon this fall.

Angel Jimenez studies Journalism at Arizona State University with a minor in Studio Art. She is passionate about storytelling and pays great attention to her work. Angel's other hobbies include creating art. In her free time, she loves to drink a cup of coffee or hot chocolate with her friends.
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