Whether you’re in your first or last year of your degree, it’s safe to say that we’re all trying to adapt to our new academic circumstances due to COVID-19 in one way or another. While many professors are busy thinking about how to provide their courses in a new, online environment, it also takes time for us to adjust and figure out new strategies for these classes—especially since Fall 2020 is right around the corner. 

We asked you in our Spring survey, and many of you agree that figuring out how to set a personal schedule, find or set up a study space, and maintain normal classroom relationships were at the top of your mind heading into the new semester.

I’m no expert or anything when it comes to online classes, however, in the last year I’ve taken nine courses online in various departments and faculties. Obviously, like many of you, most of these were due to taking a full courseload every semester the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted. Here are some of my tips and tricks that I hope will help you adjust to your online classes! 

  1. Create a daily schedule. Your Beartracks schedule likely isn’t enough. Carve out time blocks throughout the week for working on specific classes so that it becomes a routine. You can use your UASU handbook for that, or consider using your Google calendar to help you stay on track! 

  2. Space out your daily schedule, and work in manageable chunks of time. Not only will it help you avoid eye strain from looking at your computer screen all day, but you need to give yourself some flexibility to take breaks when you need them, or the ability to add time chunks for upcoming assignments and exams when things get busier! 

  3. Consider setting up a weekly check-in with someone else in your class, or even making a study group, to talk about the class, assignments, exams, or the latest episode of Community you just binged. 

  4. Set alerts for 10 minutes before your scheduled live classes. It’ll help you log into class on time, and give you time to get yourself settled before class starts.

  5. Consider your environment. Do your best to create dedicated study spaces, ideally at desks or tables, and consider wearing headphones if things get busy or crowded where you do your classes. If you can’t find quiet places at home, SUB will be open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day (starting in the Fall) and offers many comfortable and convenient places for you to do your work. 

  6. Talk to your prof, and don’t be afraid to let them know if you have thoughts or advice, or are facing any issues or barriers. They’re still trying to figure out things, too.

If you have any specific questions, are looking for more advice, or have any tips of your own you think we should share, let us know on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, by email, or Perks when it launches later this year!