Positive Stories

How to Triumph Over a Socially-Distant Summer Semester

Times are a little crazy right now, and after a half-semester of remote learning, you’re probably like me and want nothing more than to be back on campus. Not that the online classes are bad, but I just miss you guys, you know?

Just because we’ve entered a new term doesn't mean that anything’s changed, though. We’ve stayed on course thus far, so why not keep it going?

If you’re taking summer classes this year, your instinct may be to feel stressed about getting through it. I’m here to tell you that everything’s going to work out fine. Relax, read along with me, and let’s get you through this summer semester: Student Voice-style.

Hit the ground running and stay ahead

Planner on table. Photo by NORTHFOLK on Unsplash(Photo by NORTHFOLK on Unsplash)

If you’ve read any of my articles on this platform, this isn’t anything new. No matter what class you’re taking, no matter what kind of student you are, you can never go wrong by staying ahead of what’s going on in class.

Since these classes are online, you probably already have the due dates for all of your assignments. Convenient, right? So stop what you’re doing (reading this article), grab your calendar, and write them all down. Yes, all of them!

Being able to calendar your entire semester is a huge aid to getting the grade you want in any course. You’ll never miss an assignment and can plan ahead to ensure that you aren’t stuck doing eight assignments on the last day of class. That wouldn’t be any fun -- don’t ask me how I know.

Once you have all the dates written down, you’re cleared to start chipping away at your assignments. Attend any virtual lectures and take good notes, especially in the beginning. If you slack off in the beginning of the semester, finals week will come quickly and be a rough experience.

Remember, these shorter semesters will fly by. If you can stay ahead of every due date, it’ll be over before you know it, with a bright and shiny “A” sitting on your transcript.

Don’t let the experiences pass you byStudents participating in a Zoom meeting to present fun, informative powerpoints amid the COVID-19 crisis. 8 students arranged into squares.

(Students participating in a Zoom meeting to present fun, informative powerpoints amid the COVID-19 crisis.)

I’m not kidding. The summer term will go so quickly that if you blink, you may miss it. That combined with campus being closed may entice you to just do your work and get on with life, but that’s not how you get the most of your degree.

Even though your courses are online, there is still an experienced faculty member running the show. Someone with nearly unlimited knowledge on the subject who could potentially help you land the career of your dreams is sitting behind their computer, doing their best to give you the best academic experience.

On or before the official class start date, you should still reach out to your professor and introduce yourself. Tell them who you are, where you’re from, and why you’re excited for the class. They’ll appreciate the human interaction and could even serve as a future reference if you do well in the class!

Same sort of thing applies to your classmates. Sure, you won’t see each other sleepy-eyed during your 8 a.m. class, but they’re still going through the same assignments as you. Organize a virtual study session and get to know each other. Once again, human interaction is good!

Of course, being on campus together again would be awesome. And it will be awesome, we just need to wait a little while longer. We’ll sit in the student section at football and basketball games, hang out in the quad, and get lost in Peck Hall again soon. Until then, work hard and stay on course. You got this.

Author Kobe Hermann is a senior at MTSU, majoring in management in the Jones College of Business and minoring in economics and business administration. The views and opinions expressed above are his own.