Back to College – COVID-19 Edition

Categories: Well-being

Zooming Back to College!

By Daniela Vulpe, UCF College Student

How to stay productive in the era of Zoom classes?

In the last couple of months, the world around us changed so much; it became very hard to keep up. Classes are online, through zoom. No more going to the auditorium early to get a good seat; no more staying after class to talk to the teacher or study groups at the libraries. Most of our worlds, or at least mine, shrunk to the 309 sq feet of my room. It became my class, my workspace, my library and my workout spot. But how do you keep focused and stay on track when you are just a couple of inches away from your bed… the perfect spot to take a nap, watch Netflix and just utterly enjoy doing nothing?

No worries, fellow students, I came up with a couple of tips to get you through one of so many challenges of this pandemic.

1. Make a Plan!

Set up your alarm for a regular day (not a binge watching quarantine day) and have a set plan with times, deadlines and goals. Create a rough schedule of time frames in which you want to study, do homework, workout, and so on. This will help you add more structure to your day and keep you focused.

2. Get Ready!

Wake up in the morning, take a shower, get breakfast and change out of your PJs. We are officially starting our work day. That means no phone for the first hour of the day as we are rushing to get in time for our perfect productive day!

3. Create a Workspace

The first couple of weeks in quarantine I enjoyed the luxury of watching my zoom classes in bed. It felt like I was living the dream. Until I fell asleep and missed the whole lecture. So get to a desk!!! Do not get lured by the charms of your bed. Instead, create a “work space”. Try to organize a place that is specifically for getting your work done. That will help you get you into the right mindset of the hard working student you are! Note: Some professors might record the lecture, but I know from personal experience that procrastinating and watching them the day before the exam is not a good idea.

Cramming for an exam while having to watch weeks of missed lectures is not necessarily the recipe of success.

4. Take Advantage of the Online Office Hours and Tutoring

Many programs designed to help students as SARC or TAs are operating now online and record their sessions. Check out the programs offered by your school and seek help when needed!

5. Get Motivated!

Imagine your life post COVID-19. When you finally get back to campus and take the mask off, how do you see yourself? As everything is going virtual, there are countless opportunities that are now available online. For example, Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Princeton offer free classes online, UCF is live streaming their workout classes, museums across the globe such as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul or Musée d’Orsay in Paris are offering virtual tours and Zoos are live streaming their animals (My personal favorite: Atlanta Zoo Panda Cam). So let’s take advantage of all our resources and get that quarantine glow up!

6. Take Care of Yourself!

And I’m not just talking about cooking healthy meals, drinking your water and going for a run. You are not rushing anymore to get to class on time, find parking or get ready for that party. So take that opportunity to slow down a bit and really get to know and love yourself. As our proud leader Beyonce said: “Be healthy and take care of yourself, but be happy with the beautiful things that make you, you.” One of my favorite ways of self-care is hiding away in a blanket and watching a comedy movie. Just laughing it all out ;)

So, what do you think? Anything I missed? How is everyone out there getting set for a new school year? In my next post I will be giving a couple of tips on figuring out housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Author

Hi, there! My name is Daniela Vulpe. I am a junior majoring in Health Sciences at UCF. I am a proud Moldovan, Jiu-Jitsuer, founder of OrlandoAgainstCorona and intern at Healthy West Orange!

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