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How to Be the Best Student You Can Be this Semester

Miraculously, we have officially made it to the 2020-21 school year! Even if it’s not our most ideal setting, whether quarantined in the dorms or at home, we should be proud to say that we’re here resuming or beginning the college experience. A few weeks into the virtual semester, one may ask how exactly we are supposed to feel connected and feel like a part of the student body. Especially for those logging on to classes from the familiarity of their room at home (me!), it may seem stressful to keep up with friends thousands of miles away or a challenging course load.

 It’s important that we remember that we are all going through these crazy changes together, no one is alone in having to pick up new skills to be triumphant in whatever new school year goals one may have. As a returning sophomore who has a little experience in adjusting schedules to fulfill the demands of a big city/virtual college life, here are a few words of wisdom on how to be the best “YOU” this year:

  1. Always start your day with breakfast. It’s important to feel rejuvenated in the morning to tackle the day, especially for those dreadful 8 a.m. classes. Even something as simple as a granola bar or an apple can make a huge energy difference to your performance throughout the day.

  2. Be attentive and take notes during lectures. Although lecture slides are posted for all to see, it’s always a good idea to write down bullet points on the takeaway topics from each lesson you attend. It’ll also help you retain knowledge better if information is written in your own words.

  3. Find exciting ways to study! I get that zoom classes aren’t everyone's ideal mode of instruction, but it’s best to make the most of it. Have things to look forward to, like new lessons and activities/projects in class. Perhaps you could make a study group with close friends and host themed review sessions every week.

  4. Put yourself out there. Even in person, it would be mind boggling if you attended classes everyday with no other activities in between. Another way to represent yourself in the most positive way is to join a school activity, whether it is a club or a job. Ideally, have it be something regarding your interest, for example a International Relations major might be interested in Model UN and an acting student might join a drama club. If you’re particularly interested in socializing with other students, going out for greek recruitment is a great idea whether social or cultural. Almost all clubs on campus give you a chance to be active virtually so it’s always encouraged to get your name out there and sign up for your calling.

  5. Pick up a hobby during this time. It’s never a good thing to be totally focused on academia at all times. Give yourself a break once in a while. Relax by picking up a pastime. Baking, drawing, yoga, or even a binge watching a Netflix/Hulu/HBO show are excellent examples.

The big takeaway from this advice is to take everything one day at a time and do what is in your best interest. This is a unique time in our college career, and aside from all the craziness, you should be spending time focusing on yourself. Once again, having things to look forward to during the semester can sometimes make the year go by faster. Make the most of it and remember to always put your mental health first.

Hi my name is Egesi Iheduru and I am originally from Phoenix, Arizona but am now studying Psychology and Cinema Studies at New York University! I love to watch all types of movies, ranging from indie art films to superhero franchises (forever Team Marvel!). Some of my hobbies include cheerleading, gymnastics, singing, and shopping at the mall. In the near future, I see myself working in either political psychology or screenwriting/acting in feature films. I'm very excited to be joining Her Campus to share some of my wisdom I've learned throughout my college experience.
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