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How to Get the Most Out of College During COVID

For many colleges, the Fall 2020 semester will be held online due to the current coronavirus pandemic. This news is disheartening because many students, especially college freshmen, are missing out on the quintessential “college experience.”  

If you’re a college student who will be taking virtual classes, I’m sure you’re upset that you can’t return to campus. How are you supposed to live out the best four years of your life if you can’t be on campus? To simply put, this whole thing sucks. Like, really sucks. And there’s no way to mimic the college experience from home without actually being on campus and having life be normal. 

But instead of wallowing in how upset you are, wishing you could be on campus, or thinking this semester will be terrible, focus on the positive side of things and how you can make this semester great. Yes, it’s unfair to take all your classes online. But there’s nothing you can change about that, so why not try and make the most of it? If you’re wondering how to do so, here’s how to get the most out of college during COVID-19. 

Actually Attend Online Lectures & Be Present 

I know, it’s so unfair to have to pay full tuition when all of your classes are online. But you’re paying all this money to get an education and earn a degree, so you might as well get your money’s worth. If you want to make the most out of college during COVID, you need to attend online lectures. After all, you’re in college to get an education, so go to class even if it is online. But attending class is just the half of it– you need to actually be present in lecture. That is, you need to be paying attention in class and engaging with the course material. Being present for attendance and being present for learning are two different things. Be present for learning. 

Join clubs & Get Involved 

I can’t stress this one enough. Joining clubs not only looks good on your resume but its a great way for you to meet people and feel part of the campus community– something that is challenging to create in the online format. Joining clubs can also help you keep your mind off being upset that you’re not on campus. Once classes are done for the day, you have something else to focus on in your free time. Student organizations will still be meeting virtually, so get involved! They will happily welcome you with open arms, and you’ll make some great friends along the way :) 

Reach Out to Fellow Classmates 

Interacting with people in your classes will create a sense of normalcy. Instead of only seeing them during Zoom lectures, introduce yourself to someone and forge a friendship. Having friends in your classes is a good thing in general because you can exchange notes and study together. But it’s really important to have someone you know in your online classes so you have someone you can easily turn to! 

Stay Connected with Friends 

One of the saddest parts about online college is not being able to see your friends. Without actually interacting with them, it’s easy to lose touch, and its easier for you to feel alone. Don’t let that happen. Reach out to your friends every now and then by Facetiming them or doing a group Google Meet. It can even be as little as sending them a check-in text or Snapchat to see how they’re doing. That way, they know you’re there for them, and as a result, they’ll be there for you too. 

Pay Attention to Your Health

It’s easy to fall into unhealthy habits while attending college online. Your mental and physical health can deteriorate if you don’t take care of yourself. A way to combat this is to actually stick to a routine. That is, set alarms and get out of bed before classes, wash your face, put on real clothes, and get ready in the morning. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better once you do so. Online classes can easily tempt us into sitting all day and eating all the snacks in our house. So make sure you’re eating right, drinking plenty of water, and staying active. 

Think “Big Picture” 

I know what you’re thinking: life is not so great right now. Online classes are kind of terrible. I’m missing out on the college experience. While that’s all true, keep in mind that this is only temporary. Even though having a semester of college online may feel like an eternity, it’s not. In fact, when you look at the big picture this is just a microscopic piece of time in your life. One day this will all be over and you’ll be back on campus, I promise. It’s disheartening to miss out on a semester of college on campus but know that this is not forever. You will get to live out the college experience you desire one day, it may just not be as soon as you hoped it would. 

Stay Positive 

Being upset about the current circumstances will get you nowhere. Yes, you’re allowed to feel sad and you’re allowed to grief, but after a while, that will take a serious toll on your mental health and overall well-being. Staying positive during these times is challenging– in fact, it may be one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to face and cope with. I encourage you to try and stay positive and alter your mindset: be that glass-half-full type of person. Yes, this whole things sucks, but you can either wallow in it or make the most of it. So why not make the most of college during COVID? 

Most students are upset with their college’s decision to revert to an online format, mainly because it puts the “college experience” at risk. Taking online classes from home is not what you envisioned college to be like, but you can still make the most of this semester even with classes being virtual. This article has all you need on how to make the most of college during COVID.

This article was originally posted on the author's personal blog, ChristineEve.com

As an avid lover of all things writing related, Christine is a born story-teller. She is a junior at Manhattan College majoring Public Relations and minoring in Marketing. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring NYC, binge watching The Office, or enjoying a good cup of tea. She joined Her Campus after transferring to MC and absolutely fell in love with it! She is currently the Campus Correspondent of her chapter, and hopes her articles can entertain and inspire women everywhere. After college, she plans to continue writing and hopes to publish a book one day. Be sure to check out her college lifestyle blog Christineeve.com!
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