Although back-to-school may look a little different this year, it doesn’t mean that your back-to-school traditions have to be. Coming back to school after months of quarantine can be a hard adjustment, especially attending classes via Zoom. Making this adjustment as seamless as possible is on everyone's agenda. Here are some suggestions on how to be prepared and bring home the W from online school this fall.
Forming a Routine
Use the first few weeks of school as the time to create routine for yourself. A routine helps you to stay on top of your classes, betters your mental health, and creates a sense of certainty in this time of much uncertainty. Routines will look different for everyone, but it’s imperative to find what works best for you. Whether it be leaving the house to watch Zoom on a bench on campus, finding a socially-distanced cafe to watch lectures, or even watching your classes from the living room rather than your bed. Routine helps to establish yourself; make it a priority this fall.
Finding a routine to better your grades and overall mental health is pivotal, but so is socializing—even during a pandemic (with the right precautions). Friends are the ones who make campus less lonely and make challenging classes more accessible. Make an effort to find friends in your classes and create a Zoom study group or even a Zoom support group to just talk and virtually socialize. Be sure to schedule socializing into your routine so your regimented day doesn’t feel so
Readily Available Resources
Be sure to search for already available resources to help you achieve your goals. Counseling at the UO is available for those who need it, or those who just want to talk. Living through a pandemic whilst being expected to work towards your degree online is mentally tough. For counseling through the UO, visit https://counseling.uoregon.edu to schedule an appointment or to find more information. Academic advising is also readily accessible to help plan next term’s courses and to ensure you’re not falling behind on your degree. To access this resource, be sure to visit your major’s homepage through the UO website. Lastly, understand that professors are here to help you learn. In fact, many hold virtual office hours or have a tutor for their class to benefit you. Be sure to read the syllabus or reach out to a professor to access their virtual office hours to better your understanding of their course.
This term is going to push your boundaries, test your productivity, and get messy. Through organization, we can avoid this as best we can. Getting a planner to schedule each day’s classes, homework to do, and downtime to have is best suited for a student wanting to succeed. Planners give you a sense of what needs to be done each day, helping to avoid stress and anxiety towards upcoming deadlines. Find a format that aids you into seeing your schedule in a clean, simple way.
Self-care looks different for everyone, depending on each individual's needs. Ensuring you recognize when you need some self-care, and what activities will help to best relax you is crucial. Remembering to take time to “unplug” from social media and Zoom meetings is a form of self-care that many look past. Taking time away from your screen to unplug, stretch, go for a walk, and reconnect with yourself is necessary for maintaining balanced mental health.
Whether you’re returning to campus this fall or WFH-ing remotely, online school can be a hard adjustment. Finding a routine that works best for you, friends to encourage you along the way, and keeping your mental health in check will all help to ensure you acclimate to this new way of learning.