“Wash your hands, and stay inside; this will help us not to die” has become a mantra for me as I’ve had to come to terms with the pandemic that we are living through. How surreal it is to be typing this guide to prepare to switch to online and remote classes from face to face as an effect of COVID-19. I feel as if we’ve been living in an episode of “Black Mirror” these past few weeks; this surely is not how I pictured the rest of the spring semester going. As the threat of COVID-19 has gotten worse, more serious precautions have been implemented, like the closure of all non-life sustaining businesses and our university moving from face-to-face classes to remote and online classes. All of the commotion certainly is stressful and you may not know what to do to help.
I assure you, you ARE helping by staying inside and waiting this pandemic out. Flattening the curve is essential in order to get back to how things were. As we get closer to classes resuming online, you may find yourself wondering how you can prepare yourself for this transition. Here are a few tips to prepare for your newly created remote and online classes.
Spring cleaning couldn’t be at a more convenient time this year, so be sure to use this week off wisely. Cleaning and organizing the environment you’re in and surrounded by all day long will help you feel less stressed and increase productivity, as you will know where everything is. This step will be essential to those who have had to move off-campus due to the pandemic and are in the process of unpacking. Take some inspiration from the queen of clean herself and watch “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” which is available on Netflix. The process of fall to winter and winter to spring is literally “out with the old, in with the new,” so let this be the same for you and your environment. Rid yourself of everything that no longer serves you and allow yourself to rejuvenate. The rebirth of the earth comes as we see everything come into bloom once again, be sure to use spring cleaning as the fresh start for this new chapter in your life.
- Dedicate a space to doing work and only work.
Many people know that there are some who take work home with them from their job and work on it at home. I know plenty of people who did school work in their beds on campus, but that is not a good habit to have. This separation of the two is essential so you have designated time to work and designated time for family/friends. Well, now your home is your job space as well and they are going to overlap. In order to keep things separated, dedicate a space to just working on your schoolwork, be it a desk in your room or a corner in your living room. Whatever works for you, just try not to work in your bed!
- Deep clean your electronics.
Go through both your personal and school email, go through your documents and delete what you can. Do the same with your photos, apps, messages etc. and clean them up. As things move to remote and online classes, we will be using electronics more than ever and you do not need the clutter. This will help you to be able to find documents and emails faster and not have things of importance get lost in the electronic abyss.
- Get organized
Staying in bed until 2 p.m. and sitting around on your phone all day simply will not do. It is not healthy for your mind or your body to be sedentary and it can be very easy to slip into this lifestyle with online classes. Make a schedule of what your day-to-day life will look like and follow it! This is a great opportunity to practice time management. Implement things that are good for a healthy mind and body into your new routine, like reading and doing yoga. Set time aside just for doing something you enjoy.
- Look at the new course work.
It is important to be aware of what is expected of you in this new system of learning, make sure you are in the loop and be sure to stay on top of things! When the information becomes available to you, write down your deadlines in a calendar or a planner in order to be prepared and make sure you will never miss an online assignment. Don’t be afraid to maintain communication with your professor; send them emails if you have questions or concerns.
Please keep in mind that this is a completely new experience for everyone involved with West Chester University; never before has a situation like this arisen. Our professors and the school’s faculty are working their hardest to make the rest of the semester go as smoothly as possible. That being said, expect a few bumps in the road, but know that there is nothing we cannot conquer when we put our heads together — metaphorically, of course, it is important that we practice social distancing — and figure things out.
Sabrina von Ahrens is a third-year English major with minors in French and Linguistics. SV915865@wcupa.edu