Online University: Tips For Success
The COVID-19 pandemic initially looked like a break for students – an extended Spring Break. That is how it started. No one could have anticipated that when that break was over, so was normalcy in the university setting for the foreseeable future. Students went from attending classes as normal to struggling to understand Zoom, online portals, and how to make group projects work when group members would possibly never meet. These tips are to help students be successful in online school, seeing as though, in America at least, the pandemic doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.
Make Yourself a Schedule
Many of these classes are running asynchronous, meaning that the work is due on a specific date but there is no class meeting time. This typically leads to lecture videos piling up and the week both flying by and moving slowly. The easiest way to keep track of what to do and when to do it is to make a schedule similar to if you were on campus. For example, work on your class either twice a week for an hour and twenty minutes or three times a week for fifty minutes. This adds normalcy while also making sure that you have enough time set aside a week for a specific class.
Make Use of Email and Office Hours
A lot of professors are also learning new things while teaching online. If they are still holding office hours, make sure you attend. Also, don’t be scared to email them if you need help or are confused. Everyone is still learning how to make do in this time of “Zoom University,” so professors are bound to be understanding of your confusion.
Leave Yourself Time to Do What You Enjoy
Online school can seem, and even be, overbearing at times. It is important that you still carve out time in your schedule to do something you enjoy. Whether it be painting, cooking, exercising, or even just laying in bed, make sure you don’t burn yourself out during the semester. It both dredges on and flies by, so make sure you are taking “me time” to keep your sanity.
Do Things in a Timely Manner
Assignments can pile up quickly. It is now more than ever important to do things before the day they are due. Due to lack of face-to-face interaction, if you have questions, they have to be emailed. Email is not always the fasted form of communication, as professors have hundreds of students emailing them daily and might not have time to get to yours before your assignment is due. The best thing you can do is to look at the assignment when it is assigned, and if you have questions regarding anything to email your professors right away.
Keep Your Mental Health in Order
The arguably most important factor in remote schooling is mental health. Especially for those who have no other reason to leave their home. Being cooped up all the time without much human interaction is enough to cause anyone’s mental health to decline. The pandemic has caused a spike in depression in college students, and it is important to remember that you are not alone. Talking to someone, getting help, and making sure your mental health is good is a top priority. Mental health issues can lead to problems in physical health, as well. Making sure you eat healthy, exercise, and talk to others can help you stay sane during this lonely time.
Ask For Help
Lastly, I would say the most important tip is to ask for help. Whether you need help with an assignment, help with your mental health, or help understanding a module, asking for help is something that anyone can do. Professors are doing their best and will typically be understanding if you email them or attend their office hours in a timely manner to when an assignment is due. Asking for help can be difficult, especially when it seems that everything is going badly and there is no way to do well. Other students who have taken classes before you can be a big help in tutoring, as well.
If you had asked the typical college student if they were excited about going to class a year ago the answer probably would’ve been a hesitant no. Things were busy and stressful when they were in person, but at least there was human connectivity and interaction. Now, it feels as though everything is harder and fewer things make sense. Online school, especially when the classes were originally formatted to be face-to-face, can be difficult, but it is possible to succeed. There just needs to be a little more effort put in in order to be successful. If your mental health is in a decline, there are multiple anonymous sites and sources you can go to to get help.
Here are a few:
I hope these tips helped you, as they are what I have learned doing my senior year online due to the pandemic after three years in person. One thing to remember: you got this.