Your guide to online college courses during a pandemic

It’s a crazy time to be a college student. Here are some tips to help you stay afloat in classes.

Classes are in full swing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as today marks two weeks since the fall 2020 semester began.

College courses can be stressful and with the addition of a global pandemic, this semester is sure to be one big brain teaser. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you navigate classes this fall.

Ask Questions

This may seem a lot more difficult with online classes. However, it can be done. Write down any questions you have over the course of your Zoom meeting. If the professor calls for questions at the conclusion of class, you will have your questions ready to go. Alternatively, you can email your professor the questions or drop in for office hours.

Attend Class

It’s easy to lose motivation with online classes. However, one of the most beneficial things a college student can do is go to class. Whether it be in person or in your pajamas, not only will you engage in healthy social interaction but you will be more prepared for tests, quizzes and assignments. Take detailed notes during classes and review them as needed. Even if your class is asynchronous, carve out a set period of time that you work on that class. This helps you stay organized and on top of things.

Take Advantage of Campus Resources

There are many resources designed to help you succeed academically at UT.  The Math Place is online this fall and here to help you with all things numbers. Additionally, The Writing Center is also online and helps students with essays and writing assignments. The Student Success Center is located in room 324 of Grieve hall and offers students a variety of tools to help them excel academically. The Student Success Center offers academic coaching sessions, tutoring, and supplemental instruction all in person or online.

Minimize Distractions

When studying try putting your phone out of reach or where it is not visible. Set up a rewards system to help you accomplish tasks. For example, twenty minutes of studying could get you five minutes of phone time. When studying, try to find an environment that works best for you, whether it be at Hodges, in your dorm or in a hammock.

Use a Planner

A planner is a lifeline for college students. With what feels like an infinite amount of deadlines and due dates, a planner can take you from being in chaos to being in control. Write down due dates from the syllabi from all your classes. Then write what you plan to accomplish each day and check them off as you go. Not only does this provide a sense of accomplishment, but it also helps you stay on course.

Take a Break

Take some time at the end of the day to clear your mind and relax. Whether you meditate, pray, exercise or just snuggle up with a blanket and your favorite TV show, do not forget to make time for yourself in this chaos.



Edited by Maddie Torres and Christian Knox

Featured image courtesy of Niche

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