Back2School – Ryan Poon / The Highlander

Returning to in-person classes is certainly a transition for everyone. For our first-years and transfers, this may be your first time on campus! For those who have been on campus before, maybe you forgot how much gas costs when commuting or miss the days you’d roll out of bed and click the Zoom link 30 seconds before class started. Still, experiencing university from your bedroom is not even a close substitute for the college experiences you’ll have in person. Change is always a little difficult as new habits have to be made, but one aspect of succeeding in-person classes is remembering the lessons you learned during Zoom University! Here are a couple tips to help you get ahead in your studies. 

Collaborate to graduate: Make Discord chats for your classes

During quarantine, students would make Discord servers to help their peers with any questions or concerns they may have. You can still do that for your in-person classes! Whether that’s taking down the class roster from a professor’s email or giving the link to people in person, having a Discord chat is a great way to stay on top of deadlines, share resources or just get emotional support the night before a big assignment is due. On occasion, it has come up that students haven’t cited work they pull from Discord, so if you do use information you find there, cite your sources.

Listen to your readings instead of reading them

Your professor assigned you a whole book to read? Consider downloading Audible, the largest online producer of digital audiobooks, and buying audiobooks. You can listen while commuting, walking, going on a run or laying in bed! You can even save time by choosing to listen at 1.5x, 2x or 3x the speed. A similar strategy to Audible is listening to online lectures instead of watching them. Find ways to access those lectures on your phone, connect your headphones and take in all that knowledge through your ears. 

The study hacks we learned during online classes are great, but where you’ll find more satisfaction are the things you can do in person that are harder to accomplish online. Here’s a quick list of ideas for things to try out!

Go to the SRC

A great resource we have on campus is the Student Recreation Center. Many students forget to use it! Are you curious about weightlifting? Go to the SRC. Want to spend your day sitting in a jacuzzi? The SRC has a jacuzzi that can fit over 20 people. This is a well-maintained center that goes way beyond what a regular gym entails. Download the UCRSRC app to learn more about it’s hours and the different clubs you can join with it.

Join a club

UCR boasts over 450 different clubs and organizations for you to choose from. These clubs span a range of interests from academic to cultural, athletic to religious and even fandoms. All of these clubs organize events and functions you can be a part of. If campus ever feels like a lonely place, simply ask the people around you and find out what clubs exist! Every Wednesday, these clubs and organizations come out and promote their events around the Bell Tower. Feel free to explore these clubs and find what interests you.

Make friends with people in your classes 

Sometimes it’s easy to lean into working hard in class and forget your classmates could actually be a lot more similar to you than you’d think. If you’re in a class pertaining to your major, remember that these could become lifelong friends and maybe even work associates if your academic studies lead you down the same career or life path. Take a moment to introduce yourself to one or two classmates, and get to know them a bit!

One regrettable thing about Zoom University is how online classes were the only activity you could seriously participate in. You had your class times, you had your assignments, but that was it. Nothing random. No spontaneity. In-person university gives you a plethora of opportunities to try something new everyday. Your future best friend might be in line with you at Chronic Tacos. The club you joined might go see a concert for an artist you love. Maybe that girl in class has travel plans to the same places you’ve always wanted to go. Be friendly! Be bold! And embrace everything in person college has to offer. Best of luck starting out your 2021 fall quarter! Stay organized, stay curious and have fun with your time here at UCR.