Learn from last semester’s mistakes to succeed this semester


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Learning from last semester’s mistake will help students succeed in virtual classes.

Tania Ortiz, Opinion Editor

As we embark on this new virtual semester, I can’t help but look back to last semester to reflect on what went wrong and what worked for me. 

Last semester felt foreign when logging onto Zoom instead of being on campus. Being at home for the latter half of the academic school year at first felt like a luxury to me because I didn’t have to get out of bed to attend class. Plus, professors were lenient with deadlines, as they were converting their courses to an online format. Even though this felt like a luxury, it also meant that bad habits could develop during this time.

Being at home caused me to develop bad studying habits, very lazy ones at that. Many of you can probably relate when I say that we let ourselves go just a bit last semester. 

I view last semester as a trial and error period because we all went through the motions of online learning, and in the end you either succeed or fail. This applies to faculty as much as it does to students as we all went through big changes in our lives during this pandemic.

I feel more prepared to take online classes this time around because I learned how to manage my time a lot better. One of the reasons why I needed to learn how to manage my time is because last semester I constantly found myself scrolling through social media or watching Criminal Minds. As we all know, distractions like these do not help with finishing assignments on time.

Another lesson I learned that I will apply this semester is to make sure to not overwork myself by trying to complete assignments in one sitting. This connects with managing time but incorporates the idea that not everything needs to be rushed and to give yourself time. Giving yourself time prevents stress from building up.

As for my classes, this semester, there is an all-around preparedness from professors who have designed their courses to be flexible for their students. What I mean by flexibility is that professors who have synchronous classes do not always meet at the scheduled time. 

Additionally, professors have made it possible for students to interact even on a virtual platform by placing them in groups where they can interact with each other similar to in-person classes. By having groups set up by my professors, there’s a better chance of having insightful discussions with my peers and someone to reach out to when it comes to studying for exams.

All around there is a much more positive outlook for this semester. The trial and error of last semester taught me how to prepare for my classes and ensure I don’t fall back into bad habits again. 

There is still room for improvement in creating the idealized online school environment during these unprecedented times. Hopefully, you all have gone through your trial and error, learned from it and applied the necessary changes to ensure your semester is smooth and successful.