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I Struggled To Acclimate So You Wouldn’t Have To: My Advice On How To Get Back Into The In-Person Class Routine

For a lot of people, this semester is the first one back on campus— or on campus at all. After eighteen months away from the classroom, it can be difficult to readjust to an in-person schedule. So, I’m going to give you some of the tips that have saved me as a sophomore who hasn’t been in person since my senior year of high school!

SEPARATE SLEEP AND STUDY AREAS

During quarantine, a lot of us had to turn our bedrooms into our online classrooms: making it difficult to motivate ourselves to do work and simultaneously harder to relax when the work was done. On campus, it’s best to find a good place to study outside of your room. Go to the library, a cafe, or even just a nice spot outside where you can bask in the fresh air. You’ve spent plenty of time in your room, and it’ll make your bed all the more inviting when you get back home!

CREATE AN AGENDA

If you’re as scatterbrained as I am, keeping track of all your classes and other to-dos can be stressful. It’s no longer as simple as rolling out of bed and logging onto Zoom, so time management is going to be your friend this semester. I’ve found that getting a planner, either a physical one or electronic (whatever works for you!) is a key element in getting back into the swing of things. Jot down your class schedule, extracurriculars, due dates, and more. It’s so much easier to be on top of things when they’re all written down in one place.

SET ASIDE TIME FOR HOMEWORK

Being in-person has added more to school than just going to classes. Now there’s more of an opportunity to join extracurriculars or go to school events. Even getting to spend time with friends takes time out of the day. That’s why it’s important to get yourself on a consistent homework schedule. Find a gap in your week, in between classes and other events, to sit down and get your work done, so then it’s not getting in the way of your social life! Even if you only have an hour here and there, knowing when you’ll go to that nice studying spot you picked out and cranking out some schoolwork makes it easier to create other plans throughout the week.

MAKE CONNECTIONS IN YOUR CLASSROOM

Something that Zoom didn’t let us do was make individual connections with the other students in our classes. One of the best parts of in-person learning is the little interactions you can have with your classmates and the friendships that can form from them. Besides, it’s always nice to have someone you can talk to about assignments and study with if need be, so take advantage of the opportunity to do so now.

FORM A CONSISTENT SLEEP SCHEDULE

Let’s be real, the average person stops having a good sleep schedule after high school. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend trying to go to bed and wake up at a consistent time every day! It makes it easier for you to get up for those early classes. If you don’t have any, you’ll find that your productivity throughout the day goes way up when you get yourself up just a little earlier. Obviously, allow yourself leniency on the weekends— catch a few extra hours of sleep after a stressful week!

BE SURE TO EAT BEFORE CLASS

I think we all agree that a growling stomach in a quiet classroom is one of the most embarrassing experiences known to man. Gone are the days of snacking discreetly on Zoom, so do yourself a favor and eat something before your classes. Take the opportunity to treat yourself to your favorite meal on campus, or have a snack that’ll fill you. Believe me, your stomach will thank you later!

FIND TIME TO RELAX

Being in-person again is, in fact, tiring! Everyone’s gotten so used to living in pajamas and lounging around watching Netflix that getting ourselves up and out the door is still an adjustment. Be sure to give yourself time to not only acclimate to this new routine but to wind down once you’ve completed it. If you feel worn out after classes, take a nap. If you’re someone who recharges by spending time with others, meet up with a friend. Whether it’s to grab a bite, chat, or even do some studying together, don’t forget to enjoy being in person with them again!

Emma is a Secondary Education and English double major with a Creative Writing minor in her sophomore year at The College of New Jersey.
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