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Finding a New Balance - Helpful Tips During Changing Times

Just as suddenly as it began, it seemed to be over.

As more and more days began to pass, talk and rumors circulated within the air.  Next thing you know, the rumors became true. They became our new reality.  We received the email that all students will have to leave campus, and we will be completing our spring semester classes online until further notice.  A million questions start to fill your head, “What should I pack?”, “How long will we be off campus?”, “How is this going to work?”, “Now what?”.

This is a big transition that came about so suddenly, nobody could be 100% prepared for these questions, or, prepared for what was to come next in the weeks to come.  How does one go from in-person lectures every day, to now video calls, audio lessons, and discussion board posts?  There is no right or wrong way to adjust to this huge change, but there are some helpful tips that I came to realize that can help make this new adjustment a little easier and less overwhelming.


  1. Check your e-mail and BlackBoard

  This may seem like a given, but especially now that we are doing our classes from home, it is extra important to keep checking your MyMu email and BlackBoard as frequently as you could.  This will help you to keep updated on what is happening with your professors, your classes, and any updates on the situation with the university.


  1. Don’t Break Your Routine, Adjust It

  When in-person classes were still happening, every student had their own routine; wake up at this time on these days for my classes; dedicate this time to getting assignments done; take a break at this time; try to go to bed by this time, etc.  This is going to be a tough one since being at home is supposed to be a time where you don’t have to worry or think about school that much, but trying not to break the routine you made will help you keep on schedule with your regular classes.  Try to act as if you were still on campus or if you were still going to make your commute to physical classes.  Take this and make the adjustments for it to be done and to fit it in with your home lifestyle.  Finding a new balance will be difficult, but it is a vital importance.  Remember, we aren’t on a vacation, we still have classes!


  1. Stay Organized and on Track

  Staying organized is one of the most important things you can do.  There is no denying that the past few weeks have been extremely hectic, so staying organized will help you to keep better track of everything you have going on.  With all the confusion and chaos that is currently happening, you don’t want to confuse your assignments and online lecture times for anything else and fall behind. It is going to be extremely important to stay on top of your assignments and pay close attention to your due dates.

Bethany's Desk Area


Here are some little ways you can better yourself at staying on track:

  • Use a Planner ~ Keep note of what you have to do and by what days.
  • Color Code ~ This may sound childish or even a bit silly, but color coding your assignments will help you keep organized by being able to better differentiate what needs to be done and for what class.
  • Sticky Notes ~ This is one method that I have found to be very effective on remembering what needs to be done.  Having sticky notes put up on your walls in your bedroom or your study area where you could see them is a great way to be constantly reminded of your due dates!

Bethany Doing Sticky Wall

  • Separation ~ Keep your school materials in a location that is solely dedicated to that and only that is a great way to make sure you don’t lose any of your important belongings.  If you have a dedicated area to your school things, you will have much better success at being aware of where everything is.
  • Stay Connected ~ Stay in a frequent connection with your professors and classmates.  They can help remind you of what needs to be done and clarify any confusion on assignments.


  1. Friends, Family and Professors

  Just because we may not have the easiest ways to physically see your friends, does not mean that you shouldn’t keep in contact with them!  Having a support system is so important to success.  Make sure you try to keep in touch with your friends frequently. You can make sure each other doesn’t fall off track with their work, ask for their help if need be, and simply just to get your mind off of things for a while. Whether it’s Facetiming, texting or snapchatting, make sure you make an effort to talk to the friends that you made in college!
            Keeping in touch with family members is also a great way to get support and keep you on track. Your loved ones want nothing but to see you be successful in getting your degree, they are there for you if you need it.

  Your professors are terrific resources as well.  It is not new information that when classes and tests are online, they can be a bit harder.  DO NOT BE HESITANT TO REACH OUT TO YOUR PROFESSOR(S)!!  If there is a topic that you do not understand, reach out to your professor.  They are just as upset and confused as we are, they are still here to help you with anything you need!


  1. Take Care of Yourself

  It is very easy to get overwhelmed during this time- not knowing what tomorrow is going to bring, when and or if we will be back on campus, keeping up on your assignments- so it is important to make sure you put yourself first!  Take some time for yourself to relax and do the things you enjoy doing most! Make sure you eat regularly and healthily, you drink water, exercise, go to bed at a decent time, practice proper hygiene, stay home as often as you can and take care of your health.  Making sure your mental and physical health is in a good condition should definitely be your number one priority.  If you begin to feel overwhelmed, take a break! Try to not stress yourself out and overdo it.  These next few weeks can be very confusing and complicated until you find a routine that works for you, but until then, don’t stress yourself out over little things! You got this!


Big changes like this can be scary, but just we just have to take things one day at a time!  And remember, we’re all in this together!



Bethany Jopling
Sophomore, Mass Communications and Design

Posted by Dave Pasquini in Skills for Success, Online Learning on Tuesday March, 24


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Students walking from the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library

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