Anna Schultz-Girl On Computer With Notebooks

Back to (Virtual) School

This school year is looking a little different than most.

Rather than sitting in a lecture hall, surrounded by the chatter of your classmates, you may be sitting at home, surrounded by the faces of your classmates on Zoom. Some of your lectures may not even be regularly scheduled into your timetable, requiring you to navigate through OWL to find videos or lecture notes to review on your own time.

These changes, on top of the fact that we're transitioning out of summer and into the new school year, can make it hard to adjust. Here are a few tips to stay on top of it all:

1. Figure out your schedule

With asynchronous classes, it can be extremely easy to fall into the trap of thinking "oh, I'll catch up on this lecture later", only to find yourself pulling an all nighter before your exam. Block times in your day, both for yourself and your classes, and follow it. As tempting as it might be to skip your live lectures, attend them! It might not be the same as sitting in a lecture hall, but it can help with feeling more engaged with the class and content.

2. Try some new hobbies

One positive outcome of fewer in-person classes, or a fully virtual experience is that without commute time, you'll have more time to focus on your hobbies. Whether that is cooking your favourite meal or getting in more yoga time, make sure you make time for yourself! If you're finding your old routine has been changed, try to find an alternative. For example, if you used to go to the gym (and that is no longer an option), take a jog around your neighbourhood instead. Who knows? You might notice something you hadn't seen before.

3. Stay in touch with friends!

Not being able to see your friends as often as you had before can be hard, especially if they're out of province. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep in touch. Text, Zoom, FaceTime or even call them to see what you've missed! Have a group of friends who want to do something fun? No problem! Host a Zoom night with your friends, and play one of the Jackbox games. It won't be the same as meeting in-person, but it'll be a great way to spend your night with friends.

All these changes can feel overwhelming, and that's completely okay. Take it one day at a time. Do what feels best for you, and see where it takes you!

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