How to Start the Semester Right - Pandemic Edition
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How to Start the Semester Right - Pandemic Edition

So, it's 2021 and we're still facing the omnipresent challenge of living in a global pandemic. What better time to be a student?!

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How to Start the Semester Right - Pandemic Edition
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If you're a student like me, you're about to kick off your spring semester, or maybe you already have. Your classes are probably mostly online, or if they're in person, they only meet a few times a semester, and masks are required. Your roommates may be MIA, living at home, or you yourself may be stuck at home for the semester. We've been through it one and a half times already; this is Being a Student in a Global Pandemic. Have no fear, I'm here to provide you with a few tips and tricks to make this semester as great as it can be.

1. Enter with an open mind.

Let's face it, we've been through this before. Think of the challenges and triumphs you experienced last semester, acknowledge and learn from them, and now wipe the slate clean. This semester is a blank canvas ready for you to paint the reality of it. Be sure to open your mind to all the possibilities for growth as a student this semester.

2. Find a quiet, private space, and make it your study/class space.

If you're doing class from home, or even from your dorm/apartment, you're probably in need of a private place to complete your school responsibilities. Create that space for yourself, whether it is as simple as a corner of the room with a desk and a lamp, or as elaborate as claiming that one room in the basement as yours, and setting up a complete academic dojo. Having that personal, quiet space where you can buckle down and focus is essential. Let's face it, Zoom class from bed just isn't cutting it, no matter how comfy it is.

3. Wake up in a purposeful manner.

The manner in which you get out of bed in the morning can truthfully set the tone for your entire day. Personally, I find that if I lay in bed past my alarm, scrolling on my phone and avoiding my morning responsibilities, I'm not going to have nearly as good of a day as if I had sprang out of bed upon my alarm, beginning my morning routine and leaving my phone alone. Get up, for goodness sake, and get your day going on a positive, purposeful note.

4. Make a plan, and try your best to stick to it.

Call me Type A, but when I wake up in the morning, I have a pretty good idea of what I want to accomplish during the course of the day. I usually make a To-Do list, make a schedule, and make a plan. Within my plan, I include meal breaks, workout time, and everything else that my day typically encompasses. Formulating a plan can push you to set your focus for the day, and allow you to effectively carve out time for each responsibility.

5. Turn on your camera, and (sometimes) turn on your mic.

Trust me, I know it's hard to show up for online class. It's all too easy to log on to Zoom, camera off, mic off, lounging in your pajamas and using class as background noise as you scroll through your phone. I know it's hard to hear, but you will get so much more out of online class if you make yourself present. Your professors will appreciate you, and you'll find that you retain so much more from class. Get dressed, make yourself some coffee, and set yourself up to be an active online student.

6. Communicate with your classmates and professors.

Maintaining an open line of communication with your classmates and professors is absolutely crucial. Utilize your email, take advantage of your professors' virtual office hours, and don't be afraid to clarify with your classmates. I know it can feel like you're going it alone sometimes, but I promise you, you're not. We're all in this together.

7. Continue to be safe, and be smart. 

As much as you hate to hear it, we are still living in a global pandemic. That being said, we must continue to be mindful of our behavior. Wear your mask when you go out, keep your gatherings small, and get tested when appropriate. If we all continue to do the right thing, soon enough we will have our normal lives back; we'll gather for concerts and large events, we'll squeeze our grandparents again, and we'll rip those masks off. Just continue to be patient.

Cheers to another semester of Zoom University. Here's hoping that by the fall, we'll be able to reunite in classrooms and labs and learn together. A girl can dream, right?! Best of luck to all students out there.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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