OCM Explains How to Get the Most Out of a Remote College ExperienceBy Ernest Hamilton, UniversityHerald Reporter
As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, many colleges are operating remotely. Some colleges have welcomed students back to campus but have taken precautions to keep coursework strictly online.
College today is not the same as it was when your parents or older siblings were there. It is unfortunate, but the entire college experience has changed. From infection control protocols to a lack of social interaction, remote learning experiences can be lonely and depressing.
Fortunately, it is possible to have an enriching college experience even if you can't take classes in person. OCM offers these tips to help students get the most out of their college experience, even online.
Be Sure to Follow All COVID-19 Safety Requirements
College students may feel as if they don't need to worry about the COVID-19 pandemic, but in fact, students who are infected with the disease could experience severe repercussions. Even if they are asymptomatic or recover quickly, they may give the disease to people with preexisting conditions. Avoid all parties and large gatherings, especially indoor events. If you go to an outdoor social gathering outdoors, make sure that everyone is wearing a mask and social distancing.
It is understandable that there is some social pressure on students when it comes to following COVID rules, but it is better to be on the safe side and help to prevent the disease's transmission in your college community.
Remote Learning Tips
Remote learning in high school was difficult enough but transitioning to college life may feel almost impossible. College professors have much higher expectations for your work, and there may not be as many opportunities for you to get help with your classes.
Even if you are remote learning, it is important to stay in close contact with your professors. In many cases, they are connecting with students virtually offering remote office hours so that you can ask any questions you may have during class or while attending virtual study groups. Take advantage of any TAs or teachers' assistants who are assigned to your class.
Connecting with Fellow Students
OCM recommends that you get in touch with students from your college, even if you can't see them in person. It is a great idea to find and join social groups at your university before you are allowed back on campus. You may even make friends ahead of time. Colleges have Facebook groups, and some may have their own social networking sites just for students.
Creating Your Workspace
When you are working at home or in your dorm room, you will need to set up a neat, clean work area with plenty of space for books and papers. If your room doesn't have a desk, you should make space for one. Working on your bed may cause you to become more stressed, as well as not being comfortable for your back.
Ideally, it is best to have a room outside your bedroom to study in. Studying too much in your bedroom can lead to a lack of sleep because you will associate your bed with work rather than rest. Understandably, many college students do not have this option, especially when libraries and student centers are not open.
Many students find that working outside can be refreshing. Studying in a pretty part of campus or outdoor space at home can be a good way to escape some of your stress.
One of the most important aspects of remote learning is managing distractions. If you are at home with your family, family members and pets can cause distractions. In some cases, having a pet in the room can be calming, but if you have a needy pet, it is better to keep them out of the room while you are doing coursework.
Parents and younger siblings can also be distracting. Make sure that your family knows when you will be unavailable. It is hard to know how to tell your family that they need to stay away from you, but it might be helpful to post a sign on your door that you are busy.
Of course, college students want to socialize and make new friends. This can be challenging during the COVID pandemic. Many of the ready-made ways to make new friends, like new student groups and club meetings, have been canceled. While following social distancing regulations, try to meet people anyway. You can strike up conversations with one person at a time or with a small group. Just be sure that you are following all COVID recommendations since you don't want to get sick and don't want friends or family to become ill.
Having a Great College Experience
It may seem unfair that college students are experiencing such disruption, but everyone should remember that most if not all college students are in the same boat. Making many friends and going to parties can happen at a later date when it is safe to do so. The two things that you need to concentrate on are your health and your schoolwork.
OCM offers a wide range of products meant to help college students settle in. Their products can help to decorate a dorm room or apartment and to help students feel more at home.