7 Tips For a Successful Online Semester This Fall

Having to attend school remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic is one thing, but having to find out new ways of just adjusting to a whole new norm of academics online can be difficult for students. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when your connection is giving you issues or you are unable to compare your written notes to one of your classmates. As for someone who is taking her entire semester online, try to treat your online classes like they were still in lecture. Each class should be considered a top priority so be sure to schedule out the time you put to each course. When all is said and done, you should use this experience as an opportunity to really focus on succeeding and having a stress free semester.

  1. 1. Take Advantage of Your Professors Office Hours

    Even if it means scheduling a Zoom call from 3:00-4:00 pm, attending your professor’s office hours is one of the most vital things you can do for not only this semester but for your entire college duration. Being able to talk one on one with your professor about things your struggling with or just double-checking on information from a future assignment is relieving and helpful for the first time freshman up to the fall graduate student. There’s no possible excuse that could stop you from contacting your professors, especially when they are a phone call or Zoom call away!

  2. 2. Keep Yourself Hydrated!

    Up to 8-16 ounces a day keeps your hydration definitely at bay! Drinking enough water daily can help not only physically, but staying hydrated can also keep you focused, calm, and ease your anxiety levels (which can definitely spike up when those assignment deadlines are back to back). If you have trouble keeping yourself hydrated, or if you need to boost your wear intake try investing in a motivational water bottle that way you can keep track of how many cups you're left to drinking for the rest of the day. 

  3. 3. Have a Schedule Down Pact 

    While the option of attending class in your pajamas and having a lunch break lasting up to almost 5 pm does sound tempting, it is still a good idea to keep a schedule of not only your daily routine but your academic routine. If you have assignments or Zoom call meetings to attend to, be sure those are the first to put as important on your planner. Also, be sure to put aside enough time to study at least 30 minutes to an hour a day. Make sure to give yourself a break in between studying so that you don’t burn yourself out. 

  4. 4. Find the Perfect Quiet Place to Work 

    SO here’s a question for you, class starts in just ten minutes would you rather attend your virtual class A) sitting on the couch watching reruns of Pretty Little Liars?, B) at the dining room table where your roommates are gossiping about a virtual date gone wrong?, or C) in a space that is serene and quiet? Even though the first two options sound like a good idea, it is best to study or attend your virtual classes without any distractions. That way you can focus on all of your material and complete your assignments efficiently and quickly so you can move on about your day. 

  5. 5. Work at Your Desk, Not in Your Bed 

    I know some of us don’t want to leave the comforts of our be or unwrap ourselves from our knit burrito. Regardless, it’s not a good idea for you to study, attend a virtual class, or just taking down some notes from your bed. Not only is this damaging your posture, but according to studies from The American College of Healthcare Science, it is harder to focus on your work while sitting in bed and even more difficult to fall asleep if you make your bed your new cubicle for studying and working on papers.

  6. 6. Keep Your Supplies Organized

    Whether you are working on assignment from home or in your dorm, making sure that your supplies needed for class are neat and organized will help you thrive through the semester. You may not have to deal with carrying around those 500 plus page textbooks from one side of campus to the next, but you shouldn’t have to search for that same text in your dirty laundry or by that old pizza box. Make sure all of your textbooks, pencils, notebooks, and even your chargers are neatly organized on your desk. You can also add a few decor items be it a tiny succulent or word art canvas to give your desk a little pop. 

  7. 7. And Yes, You Still Need to Take Notes

    I know you could think taking notes on your Google Docs or OneNote is a good way to get by note-taking. Even for those who aren’t visual learners, just writing down your notes allow you to focus more and not have to battle through a bad internet connection or toggle screens. Plus, all of your notes are kept safely in one notebook. Also, studies do show that you're more likely to remember information effectively if you are actively writing it down word for word.