Term 2 is in full swing! After experiencing an entire term of online learning, you might be looking for new approaches to staying well, focussed, and academically sharp. We’ve got you covered.
Last fall, 7 UBC Pharmacy students approached the UBC Life team with tips they'd gathered from learning and working online. These students were:
- Lillian Chen (class of '22)
- Annita Giang (class of '23)
- Alicia Klaassen (class of '23)
- Rebecca Leung (class of '23)
- Richard Ng (class of '22)
- Shadi Sadeghipouya (class of '22)
- Lauren Siemers (class of '22)
I thought their tips were great—so I knew I had to share them. Check them out below to get the most out of your term!
1. Aim to engage more during class
Contributing to discussions can help make the class atmosphere livelier and more enjoyable—and help you feel more connected to your classmates. So, the next time your instructor asks for student input and you're feeling a bit shy, challenge yourself to respond. If your instructor encourages it and you feel courageous, consider turning on your mic and camera, too.
2. Change up how you stay organized
Check and double-check your schedules and deadlines, especially if you’re in a different time zone. If you’re having trouble staying on top of your to-dos, here are some simple things you can try:
- Set a specific time every weekend to preview tasks for the coming week
- Check your progress against your schedule and tweak your schedule as needed
- Block off time for each task on your to-do list, so you can focus on one thing at a time
- Track how much time you spend on each task to see where your time is going
- Watch recorded lectures when you feel at peak productivity
- Designate devices for completing certain tasks: e.g., computer for work, phone for social media
You can also try adopting and sticking to a routine to more effectively manage your time! Whatever your goals, though, remember to give your eyes the break they deserve. Try some simple eye care strategies, from periodically stepping away from your screen to adjusting your ergonomic conditions.
3. Assess how you communicate with others
Just like last term, this term primarily involves digital communication...which might lead to miscommunication. Maybe you’ll find it challenging to explain something over email (all the back-and-forths, uh-oh). Or maybe you and your classmates will have trouble keeping track of one another’s replies in a group chat.
If you feel like you aren’t making much progress through one form of communication, remember that you can always try another. Sometimes a quick video call is all you need to clear up a misunderstanding!
4. Make time for yourself—and those you care about
Be sure to take a little time off every day to do what you enjoy, whether it’s drawing, listening to music...or, really, anything that makes you feel joy.
If you thrive on social interactions, try organizing online study sessions with your classmates; you’ll be able to see one another and stay caught up on course content! If you have family members and friends you don’t get to see day to day, check in on them periodically; encourage them to reach out to you, too.
5. Get (or stay) involved
Since we are at the start of term, many clubs may be looking for new members; so, head to AMS CampusBase and check out organizations you might like to get involved with. After all, virtual leadership opportunities can be a great way to give back to the student community—and your work can potentially reach a larger audience over the Internet, too!
Getting involved in clubs isn’t the only way to give back and grow professionally, though. If you’re looking to volunteer or work, check out CareersOnline for more opportunities!
As we begin a new term, there'll likely be new challenges, too. Take them on to remind yourself of your strengths and resilience—and, when you feel like you need it, ask for help. Good luck with your first term of 2021!
Header photo credit: Paul H. Joseph / UBC Brand & Marketing