As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues, we have been forced to adapt our lives to this new normal. The way we study, work and interact was changed instantly and all of us have been impacted in one way or another. This means that we, as students, need to find ways to continue our education under challenging situations.
The Ted Rogers School has announced that the Fall 2020 semester will be delivered virtually. As we get ready to say goodbye to summer, here are some ways you can prepare for a successful Fall semester:
1. Plan your course schedule in a way that best fits your study habits
Since most of us are commuter students, we will not need to factor travel time into our course schedules this semester. This means that we can take courses at times that best fit our study habits. For example, if you work better in the mornings, you can take as many early classes as possible, without having to worry about the train schedule.
2. Create a weekly schedule
While working from home, it can often be challenging to draw a line between school and home. I suggest creating a weekly schedule that will be the foundation for your routine for the semester. This is something that I have found really helpful throughout my time in university so far.
The basis for your schedule should be your course timetable. You should have dedicated study blocks for each course that you’re taking. Use your course outlines to adapt the schedule weekly and make more time for certain courses when you have tests coming up and/or assignments due. You should also schedule time for mental breaks, some form of exercise, self-care (whatever that looks like for you) and social activities that are deemed safe/acceptable during these times.
3. Create a workspace at home
Another way to prepare for the upcoming online semester is by creating a workspace at home. Pick a space in your home where you feel comfortable working every day. Ensure that it’s quiet and has as few distractions as possible. Make sure that your space is effective for taking online courses, studying and for any potential video conferences (consider the lighting and background). Check out Thomas Frank’s Creating a Productive Study Space and Working From Home: How to Set Up Your Workspace.
4. Sign up for the Tri-Mentoring Program
If you are an incoming student, I suggest signing up for the Tri-Mentoring Program to be matched with an upper-year student in your program. Your mentor will be able to give you helpful tips and advice that can make your transition to life at Ryerson as smooth as possible. Keep in mind that first year can be overwhelming for many students, and it doesn’t hurt to have someone to reach out to, especially during these times.
5. Take advantage of the various services offered by the Academic Success Centre (ASC)
The Academic Success Centre offers various support services to help students succeed in their academics. Some of these programs and supports include:
- Virtual Study Hall
- Train to Learn (T2L) workshops
- Peer academic coaching
- Writing & language support
- Appointments with a Learning Strategist
- Tip sheets and videos
Check out the ASC website for more information about these services and others. They have a variety of learning supports designed to improve your academic performance. The ASC can help you develop new strategies, skills and behaviours to achieve your academic goals.
As you enjoy the rest of your summer, take a bit of time to plan for the upcoming semester and get yourself ahead of the game.
We hope that everyone discovers a way to build their own new normal, finds success in their studies and is able to stay safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. Good luck and wishing all of you the best!