As an incoming university student, you will be adapting to rapid changes. But this year, in addition to those, you will also be preparing for online learning because of the unique circumstances. UBC has been trying to give its students an authentic digital classroom experience, but you might still experience some challenges.
Just know that you are not alone in feeling this way! Here are some tips to help you maximize the online learning experience:
1. Find ways to separate your home and your ‘classroom’
It can be challenging to do different kinds of work in the same space every day. Try and dedicate a small space for just completing schoolwork, and avoid doing other work in that space.
2. Use a calendar to schedule your day
With all your time spent indoors, it might be hard to keep track of your commitments and manage deadlines. Spend some time at night to schedule everything you need to get done for the next day! Ensure you are scheduling enough time for breaks and social interactions (even if they’re online).
3. You don’t have to be productive all the time
You don’t have to spend all the extra time on your hands by working and constantly being productive! Take healthy breaks, go for nature walks and take time off to do nice things for yourself.
4. Attend lectures during their scheduled times
Without in-person interactions, you might not be as motivated to attend class. But skipping one lecture can be a slippery slope to missing deadlines, important content and feeling overwhelmed about playing catch-up. With all lecture material being online, it is more crucial than ever for you to spend extra time early on understanding online submission expectations, communication protocol with your professors and course guidelines.
5. Make meaningful connections
This is still your first year of university and you should still put yourself out there! Try being more personable online by adding profile pictures to the accounts you use for online learning (Canvas, Gmail, Zoom, etc.). Go out of your way to introduce yourself, create group chats for friends you make in online lectures or even to schedule catch-up video calls.