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First Year At University During A Pandemic? Here’s What To Do

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If you have a student who is planning to start their first year at college during the pandemic, Tutor Doctor has some insightful tips to help them stay ahead.

1. Check class formats. Every college and university is going to have different guidelines and rules on how classes are currently offered. Whereas some campuses will be open for traditional learning, other schools have already made the commitment to transition over to remote/online learning models for the remainder of the pandemic. Other schools will offer hybrid learning options. As a college student, your child will also have a choice when selecting classes themselves – if they feel more comfortable with remote learning options due to health concerns, online classes should be your first choice.

2. Check your tech. Regardless of the learning model your university has chosen, all schools have seen an increased reliance on technology since the beginning of the pandemic. And even prior to the pandemic, technology has been an important presence in higher education for many years now – at the bare minimum, students will likely be given a school email address and login access to the university’s website portal. Make sure you are prepared for this and have a working computer available, and don’t forget about any accessories you may need! Webcams in particular have become increasingly hard to find during the last few months, so don’t wait until the last minute to shop for these tech essentials.

3. Build a scheduling system that works for you. Although you might not know the specific classes just yet, you can still start by creating a system that will help you to remain organized. With so many students learning from home, there’s an even greater emphasis on self-control and time management than ever before. Many students have found that it’s easier to become distracted or lose track of schedule when taking classes from home, so make sure you have a way to keep yourself in check. Some students may like using a physical agenda or calendar to keep track of upcoming assignments, whereas others may prefer to use productivity apps or reminders on their phone. Find what works best for you, and use that system to stay on track.

4. Remember, it’s still college. This might seem obvious, but it needs to be said – when you’re attending classes in your pajamas while sitting on the living room couch, it might not be what you envisioned as the “college experience.” Trust us, we get it! It really is unfortunate that many students won’t have the opportunity to attend on-campus classes right now. However, we think it’s important to remember that outside of new format changes, college level requirements (and the classes themselves) aren’t any different than before – these courses are still highly challenging and require a sizable commitment. The degree requirements, curriculum, credits you are earning, and cost of tuition all remain unchanged. So even though it might feel a bit strange to take a final exam from your home, it can be helpful to remind yourself that this won’t last forever and your efforts won’t go unrewarded. And most importantly, don’t forget that your professors are still there for help and guidance, whether it’s through video meetings or emails – so don’t hesitate to reach out if you need support!

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