As of March 5th, NPR reports 300 million students are no longer in class due to the Coronavirus. Colleges, in an abundance of caution, have moved classes online for either a couple of weeks or the whole semester. Whether you believe their reaction is overblown is irrelevant at this point. You are stuck with online classes either from your dorm room or even your home as some students have been pushed off of campus entirely. Online classes can be difficult for some. Boredom away from your college friends is bound to take over if you let it. The future of this semester is filled with uncertainty, but here are a few tips to finish strong regardless.
1. Regularly Check Emails
Your professors are just as confused as you are right now. No one was expecting a pandemic to break out this semester and some of your professors have never had to teach an online class before. The school and your professors will be constantly sending you emails now until the end of the semester with all the changes that are going to happen. It is going to be stressful for everyone, but try not to be overwhelmed. I would recommend checking your emails three times a day over spring break, and even more once classes start up. It would not hurt to turn on email notification sounds on your phone. Stay organized and write down all the changes your professors make to the courses in a planner.
2. Continue to Prepare for Your Classes
I am not saying you have to get glammed up to sit in your bed and watch a Zoom lecture. I am saying you should not allow your personal hygiene to slip because you are no longer going to an in-person lecture. Make sure you take showers regularly, do your hair, put on normal clothes and makeup if that makes you feel better. This is for two reasons. One, your professors still could require you to talk during lecture so people might still see you. Two, if you attend lectures online in pajamas with messy hair you are less likely to go do something productive once the class is over. You will get in the habit of sitting in your house/dorm everyday which is bad for your mental health.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Again, this is a confusing time for everyone involved. If there are changes in your class that you do not understand or you are confused about how online classes will work, ask professors or school faculty. You might live in a place where you don’t have regular access to WiFi. Talk to your professors about that now. If you aren’t good at learning online, talk to your professors about that now. I think your professors are more willing to work with you right now than you realize. You didn’t want this and neither did they. Speak up and don’t let your grades slip because of this confusing switch.
4. Use Facetime or Google Hangouts to See Your College Friends
One of the worst parts of this switch could be knowing you won’t see your college friends for a while. They are the people you would go out with and study with for exams. They are the ones who would help you keep your sanity during exam week. You don’t have to go without seeing them for weeks on end. It isn’t a perfect solution, but use Facetime or Google Hangout to see them. You guys can still catch up, study together, and help each other through this confusing time at your school.
5. Reconnect with Old Friends
I know high school wasn’t the best time for everyone. I personally couldn’t wait to get out of there. However, most of us at least had that one friend we sometimes miss. If some of your old friends are also stuck at home because of this virus, try to reconnect and go out with them. Catch up and see how college has gone for them. If you are being cautious and avoiding public areas, have them over at your house and you guys can just hang out in your room like old times. Don’t let online classes keep you from having any socialization.
This isn’t an easy time for anybody. We have a virus that is hardly understood and spreading fast. Peoples’ jobs are being affected and schools are closing all over the country. There is a societal panic the likes of which most of us have never seen. It is a scary and confusing time, but don’t let it consume you. Keep up with emails, ask questions, and stay active with friends. This won’t last forever.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.