Editorial: Advice for virtual semester fall 2020

Katrina Singleton, News Editor

Starting a new semester is already stressful for students; adding an ongoing pandemic on top of that can definitely heighten the stress for students. This semester is virtual for majority of CSU Bakersfield’s students. This new school environment can create a lot of problems for students that have never taken an online course during their academic careers. Here are some tips on how to succeed in virtual learning. 

Tip 1:

Make lists or schedules. With the semester being in a new format it can be a struggle to remember due dates of your assignments. Put your schedule in a place where you are going to see it every day, whether that be on a bulletin board, white board, planner or even your phone calendar. Writing down due dates for your assignments can help your brain remember that due date more than just reading it on a syllabus. 

Tip 2:

Communication. In this format where you do not see your professors every day communication is going to be a strong must this semester. Find out the best way to talk with your professor (Slack, phone call, email, etc.) because you want to be able to ask questions and for them to be able to get back to you quickly. Staying in contact with your professors and using their office hours will be crucial for classes that can be a struggle in a virtual form. Professors are a valuable resource and can help carry you through class if you start to struggle. 

Tip 3:

Make study time. With education going on in the home and away from campus, the line between relaxation and work mode can become blurry so always set aside time specifically for studying and doing homework. 

Tip 4:

Make “me time.” Zoom headaches are a real thing and can prevent you from doing well in your classes so make sure you give yourself breaks away from the computer screen as it’s just as important to doing well this semester as focusing on your work. Give yourself time in the morning to eat and stretch your legs in between your zoom calls. Set aside 2 hours of your day to relax and recharge and let your mind digest the information you are reading and receiving.  

Tip 5:

Give yourself a lot of grace. Virtual instruction is not how we’ve been conditioned to learn or teach, and we are all adjusting to a new temporary normal for the fall 2020 semester. Do not be too harsh on yourself if your performance has decreased, continuing to persevere your education in the middle of a pandemic is in itself an accomplishment.