Prepping for a New Semester

After taking a short and meaningful break from your acads, a new semester is about to begin. That’s basically how college life runs. It is important that while we enjoy spending our well-deserved break, we also get ourselves prepared for another semester of juggling academic responsibilities.

But the question is, why do we have to prepare? What does preparing for a new semester do?

Remote learning is already difficult as it is so, we somehow need to find ways to make learning less stressful. One is making sure we’re on top of our academic workload for the entire semester. The best way is to, of course, start by preparing yourself ahead. It will probably take time to get yourself together especially if you’re still stuck in “Vacation mode” however, snapping yourself back to reality will greatly help you kickstart.

Here are some tips which will help you prepare for the new semester head on:

1. Treat the new semester no different from a regular face-to-face class.

Despite the clear limitations compared to having face-to-face classes, you need to put the same amount of effort and attention (or even more) for the new semester of online learning. Even though you’re staying at home, making sure that you have a space where you can spend time in your online classes and do schoolwork will also help you focus or feel less distracted. Engage in class activities like you do in a normal face-to-face setup. This way, you’ll be more involved during class activities like being in a real classroom.

2. Familiarize your Schedule and Routine

In an online setup, it is a bit harder to compartmentalize your schedule since you are just in the same environment as when you’re doing non-academic activities. Therefore, you must know when to do your school activities and when to take a break from it. It is also important to familiarize your class schedule at the start of the semester so your system can easily absorb the study routines you’re going to make. Having a routine is important for you to keep up with what needs to be done when it comes to academic activities and to avoid being distracted while trying to accomplish all these.

3. Organize and Prepare the Things You’ll Need

It is easier to get distracted when learning online because you can access even non-academic platforms such as social media when trying to get things done. Avoid losing track of what you should do by organizing your activities and important dates to remember using your preferred organization tool. It doesn’t really matter whether you prefer online or on paper tools to help you get organized if you are able to easily access it.

Aside from organization, you must also prepare the things you will be needing for studying such as notebooks, textbooks, pens, or any software equivalent beforehand. Always remember to organize these in a way that is easily accessible on your work area so you wouldn’t take so much time looking for them or buying them when it’s urgently needed. You might also consider reading through the syllabus (when provided) or simply try to research about the course topic to give you an idea what the course will be all about.

4. Explore Different Platforms

There will be a time when you will be needing to look for additional resources for your class subjects or even just wanting to try out possible helpful platforms for your lessons. Do not hesitate to explore. There are platforms which offer video tutorials and presentations on lessons that are relevant to different courses. You might want to use them if ever you have difficulties in understanding a lesson or two. You would also want to check your library services for more helpful resources. There are a lot of university subscriptions on academic and research platforms that they offer. Make sure to be informed about all these so you can utilize these subscriptions made by your school.

Check your learning management system (LMS) from time to time to review your previous courses and to check on the new ones. For UP Cebu, we are using as our official learning management system (Know more here ). Your teachers will be uploading your asynchronous activities in your LMS, so make sure to access it from time to time to get updated with your classes.

5. Interact w/ Peers

Do not forget to interact with your classmates and teachers. Communication is one way of breaking the barriers set by online learning. In this way, you can keep up with your lessons and get updated with everything that is happening with your classes. Getting to know who you work with will make the work easier to accomplish if you are already comfortable with each other.

Extra tip for the freshies who will start their first college semester:

Learn about the College Culture

If you are new in school or a freshman, always get to know the culture of your college. Although having online classes will limit you from spending time with other people in your school, learning about the culture of the environment you’re in will help you adapt.

It is okay to get nervous and anxious on the first few days of your classes in the new semester. What’s important is you are equipped to get on the new challenges you’ll soon encounter. We’re still in an uncertain and ambiguous world after all.

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