Preparing for a new college semester is always a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, you are leaving behind the great memories of the previous semester or high school and entering into a new territory which can be a little scary. On the other hand, you are gearing up for a new adventure in life with new courses, subjects, teachers, and friends. However, this year, the situation is even more peculiar because you will be entering your new college semester virtually, for the first time.
In the face of the ongoing pandemic, most colleges have decided to shift their new college semester online, keeping in mind the social spread of Covid-19. To put it simply, the new college semester will only have online classes across different disciplines.
New College Semester: Changes in the New Normal
Before we move on to understanding how you can ace the new semester, let us quickly look at how it will be different from any other new semester. Here are a few apparent changes:
Move to online classes
Firstly, the classes will be held online. This means that there will be no in-person interaction and everything will be virtual. This can be a challenge to gather attention and concentration.
Limited social interaction
Since the classes will be online, you will get very limited opportunities to interact with your peers and create a social circle. This would impact freshers the most as those entering a new semester and not the first one would already have a social group to fall back on. Invariably, making friends and understanding the nature of your peers will be difficult.
New forms of assignments and examinations
Next, you will be expected to submit all assignments virtually which would not be so different for a lot of students. However, taking online examinations can be a little difficult as it will be an entirely new practice for almost the entire chunk. How colleges plan to tackle this is still under thought.
New College Semester: Tips to Prepare Yourself
Now that you understand the potential challenges you may face, let us look at some of the solutions you can have in place even before the semester starts to have yourself covered.
Treat it no different than a regular class
To begin with, you need to treat your online classes for the new semester in the same way you would treat in-person lectures. This means that you need to find a quiet spot with a strong internet connection during the whole course of your lectures. You should not put yourself on mute and switch off your video and let the lecture play in the background. Make sure you afford the same attention to online classes as you would do to an in-person lecture.
It would be a good idea to take handwritten notes to ensure you are attentive. At the same time, engage in class discussions as much as possible. The more you engage, the less distracted you will feel. This will definitely help you in focusing more and learning better.
Interact with your peers
For a successful new college semester, you must engage with your peers beyond the virtual class interaction. The college experience is not only about academics but goes way beyond building relationships and focusing on your holistic development. Propose audio-video calls with your batch mates, especially if you don’t know them. This will help you expand your network.
You can even create smaller study groups with some of your peers and ensure that your engagement and interaction are on track. Do not be afraid of making the first move. Rather, be confident and take initiative. This new college semester is different for all and if you take the first step, you will be highly appreciated.
Learn about the college culture
Knowing more about your peers in the new college semester is important but not enough, especially if it’s your very first semester. As mentioned, college life goes beyond academics and the different clubs, groups and the entire college culture play an important role in the personality you do. The fastest and easiest way to turn this around would be to get in touch with your seniors.
Take the onus and contact some of your seniors who would be willing to lend a helping hand. In a way, get an informal orientation to the entire college life, right from what clubs and societies the college backs to which teachers support which cause.
This will have several benefits. Firstly, the inflow of such information will not leave you feeling like an outsider in the new college semester. Rather, you will feel at home. Secondly, it will help you navigate and map your interests in a way that can contribute most to your development. You will not feel lost as to how to proceed.
Have a clear schedule
Every new college semester must begin with a clear set of goals you wish to achieve along with a schedule and process to achieve them. Under the circumstances of online classes, this is even more important. Put simply, when you are learning online, from home, you are bound to get distracted and lose track of your goals.
Therefore, it is important to have a clear schedule in place. This doesn’t mean that you allocate all time of the day to college work. The objective is to divide your day in a way that ensures your college work is complete as well as you have enough time for your personal life and activities that rejuvenate your mind.
Experiment with different platforms
Finally, to ensure that your new college semester is a success, you can rely on platforms like TutorBin.com which offer online homework and assignment help. You might get tired of virtual lectures every day and would want to experiment with different formats to augment your learning. Well, if that is the case, then such platforms are a boon as they offer a plethora of formats to ensure that your learning needs are met.
It is Ok to be Nervous for your New College Semester
To conclude, it is only fair to say that if you are nervous or anxious about your new college semester, you are pretty much normal. Almost every student that starts a new semester is nervous in some way or the other. And for this specific semester, things are very uncertain and ambiguous. The most you can do is follow these simple tips to ensure that you leave no stone unturned in garnering success for your new semester!