Now that we’re back on campus, we’ve all had to make significant changes to our routines. I began my journey as a mature student at the university in September 2020, so up until recently, I’ve only experienced learning in a virtual environment. I’m sure many of you can relate to the routine of waking up, getting ready and walking a couple of steps to your desk to begin virtual classes. However, having classes in-person presents its own set of challenges like preparation, time management and managing wellness. These are all things we have to consider in order to be successful at hybrid learning.
In this post, I would like to share with you some of the challenges and successes that I face on campus in this hybrid environment and some of the ways I make the most of my time on campus. I will also be sharing some of the strategies I use to help me manage my time and wellness to be successful at hybrid learning. Personally, I’ve benefited from the strategies and resources I will be sharing with you and I hope they can help you through this transition as well.
It’s also important to remember that success is different for everyone so I would strongly urge you to figure out what achieving success in a hybrid learning environment looks like to you.
Commuting to Campus
To have a successful day on campus, I know I need to remind myself of the ways that learning on campus is different from learning at home. For example, food is an important part of the day on campus because I don’t have the ready access to a kitchen like I do at home. Here’s how I make it work for my meals and travel on a day when I am on campus.
- After getting ready in the morning, I pack any food and drinks I plan on bringing to campus, which allows me to worry about one less thing when I’m on campus.
- Find it tough to get started in the morning? Try packing food to fuel your day on campus the night before so you are ready to hit the road when your alarm sounds!
- When I’m unable to bring my own food, I enjoy eating out at the many restaurants nearby. The Eaton Centre has a great food court with many options. I also like to eat at Salad King and Five Guys depending on what I’m feeling that day. There are food options on campus if you’re looking for something quick and convenient. Ted’s Kitchen has great paninis and ten stamps gets you a free panini!
- Before walking out the front door, I like to plan out my trip. It can be tricky to remember that transit can add delays or surprises to our day. This often includes checking transit schedules, the Ryerson University Campus Map, and planning accordingly. Knowing where I’m going and how I’m going to get there ahead of time helps to relieve my anxiety about commuting.
- Remembering to do your health screening, either online or through the SafeApp, is essential for each day you go to campus.
In Between Classes
Making the most of a day on campus can be tricky because commuting and attending classes can take up a lot of energy. That’s why I think it’s important to come prepared and take breaks throughout the day to recharge.
To support myself on campus, here’s how I get myself set up.
- When I arrive at campus, I log onto the RU-Secure Wireless Network. This wireless network is safe, convenient and will provide you with internet access across campus. I personally have all of my devices connected to the RU-Secure Wireless Network so I immediately have wi-fi whenever I’m on campus.
- Two-step authentication and general technology issues can arise when you are on campus. We have our very own IT support available for students at the Ted Rogers School.
- I keep my OneCard readily available since I know it will need it to gain access to all of the university buildings. Don’t have your OneCard yet? Here’s how you can get yours! First, apply for your OneCard online. Once you’ve received an email that it’s ready for pickup, head to POD-52A to pick up your OneCard (remember to bring an official piece of ID). Personally, the staff at the OneCard office made picking up my OneCard a breeze. I just had to fill out a quick form, show an official piece of ID and I received my very own OneCard shortly after. Your One Card is important because:
- It is your official student identification.
- It grants you access to campus services and discounts.
- It can be used as a payment card to purchase products and services. All you have to do is load funds to your OneCard before you purchase.
- It is essential if your final exams are in person.
- It can be used to rent equipment from Ted Rogers Student Society.
- After attending classes on campus, I usually like to find a study spot. I try to take advantage of open study spaces across campus, like the Student Learning Centre, book a breakout room at the Ted Rogers School or book a desk or study room at various locations across campus.
Utilizing study spaces have personally helped me to achieve academic success. I’m usually studying on campus when I’m not in class and it helps me to have a quiet, undisturbed place to focus. I enjoy studying at the Ted Rogers School because of how close it is to my classes and access to Ted’s Kitchen. You can also find me studying at SLC on the fifth and sixth floors.
When I’m on campus, I also have access to food on campus, campus services and facilities. Balzac’s and the Eaton Centre are also right next to campus so I sometimes spend my break there.
My Success Strategies
When I’m studying on campus, I try to implement time management strategies, wellness strategies and study strategies to help make the most of my time. Time management is something I’ve struggled with my entire university career. Procrastination is something I struggle with and it can lead to a lot of undue stress. To combat this, here are some things I’ve recently started to implement regarding time management strategies, some of which are provided by the Academic Success Centre (ASC).
- Personally, I use a planner to write down the tasks I aim to complete each day and important upcoming deadlines. The Academic Success Centre website provides resources such as tip sheets and organizational tools. If you don’t have a personal planner, using the Seven Day Planner can be an effective organizational tool.
- A big part of planning for academic success is setting goals and I’ve benefited from the tip sheet on Managing Your Time by learning how to set SMART goals. Tips like treating school like a job has helped me find a better work/life balance.
- For physical and mental wellness, I use recreation on campus like the RAC or journal about my day to help relieve stress. Sometimes, the best way to de-stress is to just take a break. I like to take walks around campus and sit outside if the weather is nice as it helps me feel more calm and present.
Hopefully this gives you some resources for a successful day at campus! For me, I find being back in-person busy, but very rewarding and exciting. It’s important to take some time for yourself and determine what success looks like in this hybrid environment so that you’re able to feel fulfilled after having busy days on campus. I hope that by sharing what success looks like to me, you can take some elements of that and incorporate it into your own success story.