5 Tips to Make Your Online Semester... Not Bad?

POV: It’s your first day of college...but you’re sitting on your desk at home, surrounded by your Pinterest wall that you outgrew a year ago, and your daily chores are still pending. You spent a majority of your senior year imagining this day, talking about how college would be with your new roommate, planning how you would decorate your dorm, and so many other exciting things. However, the reality is a bit of a let-down. If you’re looking for ways to make the best of your situation, here are some tried and tested tips!

  1. 1. Plan Your Week

    weekly planner on ipad

    If you’re worried about not being able to find free time between weekly assignments, projects, and classes, a weekly planner should be your best friend! Every Sunday, I plan my week ahead, write down due dates for homework, and try to distribute my workload equally between Monday to Friday. Investing in a detailed planner has helped me to manage my days efficiently, so I have enough time during the day for things other than academics. You’ll be surprised at how much more productive you can be during the week, without getting stressed.

  2. 2. Create a Mindful Workspace

    Calm environment with desk set up for studying

    The space you work in definitely impacts your thoughts and your mood while studying. To create a positive work environment, try to spruce up your study and make it feel like you! What always works for me before I sit down for homework or classes, is a hot cup of green tea in my favourite mug, lots of natural lighting, and maybe a small bowl of fruit as a snack. You could even switch it up and study outdoors, or in a different part of your house. The goal is that your study space should make you feel calm and fresh, so sitting down for online classes doesn’t seem too frustrating.

  3. 3. Make New Connections

    Woman in front of laptop with mask on

    Your online semester might start to feel a little isolating, but you have to remember that you’re not alone. There are hundreds of other students in the same situation and chances are, they’re looking to make new friends, too! I have gotten to know so many people in my classes, through clubs, or just on social media. Don’t be afraid to be the person who reaches out and says "Hi" first; there’s nothing to lose and you might just make a new friend!

  4. 4. Join an Extracurricular Activity

    two people painting together

    Depending on how much time you are willing to contribute, joining a club or an extracurricular is always a good idea. It’s a wonderful way to meet new people who have the same interests as you. The best part is it’s also a great way to de-stress from your college work. However, only indulge in activities that require an extra time commitment if you’re able to, and if the hours are convenient to you! Your health should be of the utmost importance during this time, and classes of course, should be a priority.

  5. 5. Remember Life Outside

    College can be hectic, and it often feels like you can’t find ways to wind down. You have to take a break! There is more to your online semester experience than just working in the four walls of your room. Go for walks, spend time with your family and friends, and remember to exercise regularly too. Recently, I have been going on picnics so often! Staying home for my online semester, allowed me to take advantage of the quality time I get to have with my family, as well as my high school friends. This time is so important for making memories before you leave for college!

These are just some ideas that worked for me, but do absolutely find out what works for you! As you complete this semester, make sure that it is not just an unfortunate result of circumstances, but a time you genuinely enjoyed.

Want to keep up with HCBU? Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, check out our Pinterest board, and read our latest Tweets!