First, the worst. Second, the best.

You’re probably excited to be done with this semester and aren’t even thinking about next semester. And that’s totally fair. But, you should start thinking about how you can make your second online experience a better one.

If you’re not sure, check out some suggestions below because we definitely learned a lot the first time around!

Limit your distractions

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Well, if we’ve learned anything from our first run of an online semester, it’s that there are hundreds of distractions at home. Suddenly, class time is no longer just class time.

I’m sure there are times when you’ve signed off for the day, not remembering what was even discussed – I know I have. But it’s up to us to change that the second time around.

Take on the challenge and limit your distractions. That means keeping your phone out of reach during class. Also, try to find a quiet place while you’re attending class and if that’s a luxury that you don’t have, try some noise cancelling headphones to plug into your laptop.

Pro tip – if you really want to hold yourself accountable, keep your video camera on. It’s a lot harder to distract yourself when you know your professor can see you.

A little workspace makes a big difference

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I think we’ve all learned that our beds, as comfy as they may be, aren’t always the best workspace.

Setting up a little workspace for yourself can play a big part in helping you limit your distractions. You’re used to being in a classroom setting that likely puts you in a different mindset. A mindset that’s ready to work.

Set up a workspace for yourself at home to help recreate that mindset. It doesn’t have to be a classroom or anything fancy, just a place for you to go when you’re attending class or when you’re working on an assignment.

Trust me, there are lots of small investments that’ll make your study-from-home life a little easier.

Use Zoom for group projects

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I’m sure that after attending four or five Zoom classes a week, the last thing you want to do is hop in another Zoom call. But, utilizing this tool to the best of your ability is definitely going to help you out next semester.

We learned that being online doesn’t exempt us from group projects – unfortunately. And it can be a lot harder to collaborate collectively online, but hopping in a Zoom call with your group can help the process. It can help your group communicate more clearly, brainstorm ideas and split up tasks. Trust me, it’s a lot easier than waiting days for people to respond in a group chat. Not to mention, it’s a great tool to use to rehearse your presentations to help you get the A+ you deserve.

Access the tools available to you

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I think that many of us entered this school year feeling alone and disconnected. It can be overwhelming when you feel as though there is no one to rely on or to help you, but we learned that this is not the case. There are tons of resources and tools that we have access to.

You can schedule online meetings with the Writing Centre to help you write your papers. You can get help from an online tutor with any number of your classes or you can reach out to the Math Centre for help with that equation you just can’t figure out. And that’s just to name a few. Check out the complete student guide to online supports at Humber and Guelph-Humber to learn about all the tools available to you.

And don’t forget the mute button

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I’m sure some of us learned this the hard way. But, you want to make sure you double and triple check that mute button when you sign in and make sure you hit it again whenever you’re done speaking.

For one, you don’t want to be disruptive to the class or your professor. Secondly, you want to save yourself the risk of potential embarrassment.

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Try some of these tips, discover what works for you and embrace the online experience.

You’ll do great!

Being able to take great notes is also guaranteed to help make your semester easier! Take a look at these five tips to help you take notes like a pro!

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