It’s a new world out there and with the fall semester quickly approaching, it doesn’t look like some of us will be returning to a very “normal” college experience. If your University is taking its courses to the internet and your class commute means going from your couch to your bed and back to the couch again, we thought we would provide you with some tips on how to make the best of your time at AHU (At Home University.)
1. A computer? Check. But the right computer?
Your school or professor may need your computer to fit certain requirements, so you’ll want to head to your school’s website to locate any computer requirement documents that are posted. This also includes checking off any computer accessories you may need such as microphones, speakers, printer/scanners and making sure they are all working the way that you need them to work before class starts. Sorry, didn’t mean to get so bold on you, but electronics can be frustratingly time-consuming sometimes to get working, so test them well ahead of when they’ll actually be needed.
2. Working Internet
It seems just as obvious as having a computer, but you’d be surprised at how slow & lackluster your internet can be just when you need it the most. Especially if everyone is home and on it at the same time. Test live video streaming apps such as Facetime, Skype, Zoom or other streaming programs you may be required to use, before classes start. Slow internet connection? The ten year old router your internet company provided you with might not be able to keep up with the technology of today. For seamless schooling, upgrading your router could make a world of difference to your internet speed. And should your internet ever go out at the very worst time? Check your phone for a hotspot feature which will allow your cell phone to share its cellular data with other devices such as computers and laptops. Just keep it emergency use only, as data rates may apply.
Get yourself some noise cancelling headphones because movies playing, family members talking, dogs barking, babies screaming like raptors…it’s all very distracting. Noise cancelling headphones will be your new best friend, but your normal headphones will work too. Just pop those babies on or in and block out flustering noise with ambient sounds and mellow grooves.
4. Get Acquainted With Your Online Campus And Classes
It may not be a physical campus, but you’ll still want to familiarize yourself with it all the same. Dive into your school’s online portal as soon as your given a login and password. Schools post a lot of important information you may not have been privy to prior to receiving access, so click the links and find out everything your University offers. Do the same with your classes, even if only a demo is available. Online classes will have discussion boards, assignment pages, email systems, all of which you’ll want to check out beforehand if possible. And again, make sure you have the correct login and password so you’re not scrambling to get the info last minute from a help desk that may not respond when you need them to.
Even in a digital world, never underestimate the power of a pen and paper. Keep a decent stock of supplies necessary to make note taking and studying quick and easy. Folders to keep things organized in your space. Notepads, pens, pencils, post-its, highlighters, you’ll want to make sure you have it all, especially if you won’t have a classmate or dormmate to borrow off of this year. And keep a backpack nearby packed with some of the same essentials, should you need to change your learning environment.
6. Skip The Bookstore
Unless you’re looking for a University hoodie or tee to remind yourself that, yes, you actually are in college, something easily forgotten when you’re home all of the time….you’ll want to skip the campus bookstore. But what we really mean is skip paying too much for your textbooks and shop smartly for them. Who us? Why yes, we do sell over 15 million copies of textbooks on Textbookrush.com and if you buy them used you can save up to 90%. Sell them back? Yes, we buy your textbooks too. Man, how funny we ran into each other. Crazy.
7. Cozy Makers
Okay, maybe its low priority for some, but quality of life is pretty important to me and I find it’s the little things (and most of what I am about to rattle off are small) that can improve my mood and productivity these days. Cozy makers. Think a mini espresso machine, candles, sage bundle, snacks, blankets when it’s cold, desk fan when it’s warm. Oil diffusers, plants, humidifiers, ambient lights, yoga mat, desktop toys, a good lo-fi music playlist. Anything that will make you feel comfortable and at ease in your school/work/living/dining/stretching/sleeping space. Trust me. It will make a huge difference.