This week begins our first week of in-person classes for the second semester of one of the most unusual school years ever. Whether you are a commuter or a residential student, there will be many changes to adjust to academically and socially in the next few weeks as we shift back to in-person learning. Here are some ways to adjust back and some tips to stay organized.
One of the biggest adjustments for me will be switching from having all of my classwork online to having it partially online and partially physically printed out. To stay organized for this change, I already have labeled folders and binders, and sections of notebooks assigned to each class. This way, if I get work handed to me during class, there is a place for everything so that nothing gets lost. I also recommend getting a planner or some kind of agenda that you can write down when things are due and whether or not they are to be turned in online or in person. This was really helpful for me last semester, considering half of my classes were completely online.
Another way to stay organized during this switch is to make sure you know you have time to get from your car to your class or your room to your class if you happen to have back-to-back classes with different modalities. Make sure that you can make it to all of your classes on time by utilizing the commuter lounges and other places around campus so that you have a quiet place to do your classes, other than your car if you commute. This is something that can slip many people’s minds, and it’s better to have a plan before you arrive at school. I know last semester, people missed classes and were late to classes in the beginning because they were still getting in the routine of logging onto classes on time once they were on campus. It is always better to get yourself acquainted with your new routine before the first day of in-person classes begins.
Make an impression on your professors, whether or not you will ever meet them in real life. It is important to communicate with your professors throughout the semester so that they can get to know you. If you are switching to an in-person modality for some of your classes, introduce yourself to your professor when classes begin. If your classes are all online, try to email your professors any questions about the class, anything you might need clarification on, or just to let them know who you are. It makes a difference!
This has been a super different school year so far, but it’s important to make the most of it. Switching classroom modalities can be stressful at times but not impossible. Just stay organized and make sure you have a plan!