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How To Settle Back Into In-Person Lectures

It has been almost two years since campuses were open – and for some students that means never having experienced a class in person. This checklist will make sure that you are best prepared for what’s to come when you return to campus. Lecturers are nowhere near as daunting as they seem, and lectures provide a wonderful opportunity to meet lots of new people and learn.

Face mask

Although they are not required anymore, some lecturers still ask that you wear a mask. This is especially a good idea during the first few weeks of term when the infamous “freshers flu” is going around hard and fast. If you are feeling very ill, or have any covid symptoms then please follow the government guidelines and stay home!



Staying hydrated improves focus, and will help with the hangover! Top points if it’s in a reusable water bottle (and ice cold). Make it squash or juice if you fancy it instead. If you are feeling a bit sleep deprived from last nights activities then give yourself time to arrive on campus a bit earlier and get yourself a coffee, or make one at home which you can bring with you to drink during the lecture, or grab one between classes – but bring your reusable cup!

Note taking

Decide and commit to a method of note-taking; paper, typed, printed out lecture slides, you name it, just pick one and commit to it. This will make it easier when it comes to going back over material if it is all in the same place. It will make you feel less stressed as you know exactly your format when you sit down in the class. Then make sure you have all the tools you need for it, a working pen (and spares), enough paper, laptop is charged (always safer to bring charger as well), and a planner or diary to write down any important dates that are mentioned.

Group chats

Talk to people! Create a group chat for the module or find someone who is already in the group chat and get them to add you – this way if you have any questions you can ask the others and you can all support each other (invaluable if you have left an assignment to the last minute – although definitely not recommended). Another good way to meet people is to join your course’s society, where you can meet people from older years who can offer advice and insight into modules and other aspects of university.


Don’t stress about what you’re wearing – put on a cute outfit if it makes you feel good but no one will be judging, most people will probably be hungover and showing up in trackies themselves. At the end of the day, you’re there to learn – not for a fashion show. Just make sure you feel comfortable.

Uni card

Some buildings will require access via your university card, while this is relatively uncommon it is best to come prepared than be caught out and stuck outside the building.

Importantly – enjoy the process of learning and feel grateful that life is returning to normal!

Jess Dadson

Exeter '22

Hi I am a fourth-year Natural Sciences Student at the University of Exeter. My hobbies include rewatching Greys (or Gilmore Girls), and taking pictures of every cat I see!
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