By Yash Patel (Questrom’23)
Living through a global pandemic has taught us to value some of the most basic things we used to take for granted. Whether it’s going to class in person, or simply shaking hands with someone you meet. As a business student at BU, the pandemic has brought both new challenges and new opportunities in my college experience.
As the smart and dedicated BU students we are, learning to overcome these challenges is something we all learn in college. Personally, the pandemic has taught me to adapt to dynamic environments and make the best of what I have. Although the learning atmosphere is not ideal, I have managed to maintain my grades and continue to expand my extracurricular activities.
I spent my Fall of 2020 semester on campus and I am currently spending the majority of my Spring semester at home. Attending college on and off campus during the pandemic has allowed me to understand some key differences. Over the past year, I have developed a list of three tips for students attending college during the pandemic. These three tips have been the key to success for me in college over the past few months. They have allowed me to create new opportunities and maintain my well-being even during these unprecedented times.
1. Virtual Attendance
Although most students are discouraged when a class or club meeting is held virtually, I have learned to use this to my advantage. Virtual class means you can attend it from anywhere! No more waking up late and running to class. Sometimes I attend class in bed still under the covers (This is a bad idea. I fall asleep 90% of the time). Attending class virtually also means everything is recorded. This allows me to prioritize what is important. Just recently I had a midterm in accounting coming up. So I decided to study for it instead of attending my IS class. After the midterm, I rewatched what I missed.
Virtual attendance does not apply to just classes but also clubs. It allows me to expand my extracurricular activities. I have joined so many new organizations across campus because of the convenience of being able to attend their meetings from my own room. Not only that but career fairs and special events are also held virtually. There is no excuse to not attend them! It’s so easy!
This one might sound obvious but it is extremely important. Before the pandemic, I was always an organized student. I had a list of things to do throughout the day and I checked it off as the day went by. But attending college now is very different. On top of the list of things to do, you need some type of digital planner that keeps track of all the meetings you have throughout the day. A space where you can write down all the Zoom links for these meetings is very important. Some days I have more extracurricular meetings to attend than actual classes! Keeping everything organized is very important! I learned this lesson after having to scramble for Zoom links last minute and being late to meetings haha.
3. Take a break
Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a break. Even just a 30-minute nap sometime during the day helps. Sitting in front of a screen all day can be exhausting and it drains your energy. Take a nap or do something away from your desk. When the weather is nice, I like to ride my penny board up and down Bay State Road. Sometimes my friends and I go on bike rides on the Esplanade and into the city. These types of activities allowed my brain to reset. Although it sounded silly at first, but I realized this was one of the most helpful habits I learned to do as I attend college in the pandemic.
As life slowly returns to “normal,” my college life will forever be changed. I joined so many new clubs because of my ability to attend them virtually. I have learned to constantly check my planner throughout the day and add every little event to it. Lastly, I have also learned to do small things I enjoy for at least 30 minutes every day. As talented and innovative BU students, we have to learn to come up with small and simple solutions to continue to make our college experience a successful one. Good luck with yours and be sure to share any tips you have!
Riding my penny board down Bay State Road right outside of Kilachand Hall to take a short break.