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Back to School (but not really) – How to Ace Your Online Semester

So here we are. It’s the start of another semester, and it feels like we should be going back to campus, but this year we aren’t. Or at least not in the ways we all want to be. So many circumstances of this pandemic are difficult to grapple with, but here are some tips which might help those of you making the adjustment to learning from home! 

1.Life is not the same, so don’t treat it that way. 

  • It’s important to remember and keep in mind the goals you set for yourself pre-pandemic, however, don’t be unfair to yourself! Life is far from normal, and the expectations or schedule you set might look a little different this semester. 

2. Getting involved looks different, and that is okay. 

  • There are so many organizations which I loved being a part of and I felt were huge components in my college experience. There is so much uncertainty and the format of every club and organization has undergone significant changes. However, it’s important to continue reaching out, maintaining involvement, and making contributions to the organizations and causes which matter most to you, despite the circumstances. 

3. The little things aren’t so little. 

  • One thing I miss most about the “normal” college experience are the small, and at the time, seemingly insignificant interactions between friends, classmates, and peers. I miss running into friends on campus or in the city, conversations with a classmate in the Starbucks line, or debriefing the end of a long day with my roommate. It’s important to take an extra step to reach out and set aside time for these important conversations- they matter. 

4. Online vs. Offline. 

  • I’ve found it extremely helpful to designate a location to consolidate materials for each class. Whether it’s online or hybrid, it can be really useful to keep all your notes and assignments in one place. I’ve always preferred to write things out on paper, however, with the pandemic it made more sense for me to transition a lot of my life online, including a digital planner to keep track of it all. 

5. Take advantage of the things you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. 

  • Although we’d all probably prefer to be back on campus in a “normal” college environment, there are a lot of positive benefits to staying home. For one, I’ve really enjoyed learning to cook and taking advantage of home-cooked meals. I also took some time to reorganize my childhood bedroom and make it feel closer to the space I’d be living in at school. 

Most importantly, don’t forget to check in with yourself and your friends! Take time for you. 


Hey everyone! My name is Lucy Peterson and I’m a senior studying English & Anthropology at Fordham University. I'm so excited to serve as the Co-Campus Correspondent alongside Grace Buczak.
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