Back to reality: How to get back to class and not lose your mind

Illustration of text on a chalkboard reading, Back to reality: How to get back to class and not lose your mind. CREDIT: FSU PUBLICATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT

Talking, laughing, making jokes, and tests written on paper – it all seems so unreal. As if we always had phones and our first class of the day was always in bed. But this year, we are getting back to a forgotten reality, which means it’s time to adjust to the inevitable changes of being back in-person.

Imagine you enter the class and your professor asks you to get a pen and take notes. You may not even have a pen, because who would think of it when everything is so digital? However, research shows that taking notes by hand is far more beneficial for memorizing.

When getting back to class this fall, you may feel unprepared. That sense of dread may lower your motivation and make you feel uncomfortable on the first day. My first piece of advice would be to prepare your school bag. Don’t worry too much if you don’t know what should be there. Take a pen, a couple of notebooks and a laptop if you use one.

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For my second tip: choose an outfit. It’s not March 2020 anymore, and it’s time to put the pajamas away. So if you don’t want to be the most discussed person on the first day, just choose something you enjoy. Make it comfortable, as you would like your school year to be. Show your style and individual traits. Add accessories and voilà, you’re a perfect student, at least from the first sight.

Also, look ahead at the classes you will attend, and try to come beforehand to search for classrooms. Ideally, it’s best to look around at least two days before school starts. It will make a huge difference, considering that on the first day there will likely be a huge crowd.

Don’t forget to wake up extra early on your first day. This is a very uneasy task, especially after a summer of parties, late-night talks and relaxation. That’s why you should prepare beforehand and start waking up early at least two weeks before your first day. Every day go to sleep 10-20 minutes earlier. It will save your nerves during the first week of school, when worrying is at its peak.

Try to get to know your classmates. On your program Orientation day, you will start to learn everyone’s names. Ask them for their numbers or any social media to chat and understand the characters of your new classmates. If you are in second year, you can do this too, because there’s a good chance you didn’t have enough time to discuss each other’s lives over Zoom. Meeting someone in reality is almost a cultural shock for society now, so be prepared for real communication.

Try to get to know more about your program, or review what was learned last year. It is always beneficial for your brain to get prepared for a significant push in the learning process.

Getting back to life as we once knew it is scary and feels insecure. But know that everyone feels like that, even teachers. You’re not alone, and you’ll always be supported by your college community.