Updated: Nov 15, 2020
PHS '19, NYU '23
Hello everyone! My name is Juliana Smith and I am currently an incoming sophomore at NYU Tisch School of the Arts studying musical theatre. Although my freshman year didn’t turn out exactly as planned, I found many ways to make online classes as fulfilling as possible. I found myself losing motivation in the beginning because it’s hard not to reminisce about what classes were like in person. However, I would say one important thing to remember is to create a routine for yourself and try to connect your new life in Zoomland with your in-person classes to the best of your ability. Little things like getting dressed for class, separating my work and lounge areas, and not being preoccupied while on call have really changed my outlook regarding my classes this past semester. I know it will definitely be easier to wake up 5 minutes before class and jump onto Zoom from your bed, but I assure you that creating a schedule for yourself makes all the difference. As much as you can make your online lifestyle similar to your in-person classes, the better.
Another thing that I have found really helpful during quarantine is finding time to collaborate with fellow students regarding schoolwork, or just to catch up! For all of my classes, especially my musical theatre ones, I tried as often as I could while I was at school to meet up with my peers and practice with them for the upcoming week’s work. When I came home, I felt such a distance from my classmates, and I lost my motivation to spend extra time studying or rehearsing. However, we are extremely fortunate to live in a time where long distance connection can be obtained so easily! I highly recommend getting in touch with classmates to study, or just to talk about how life is going with online classes! It really made a huge difference for me and got me feeling more connected with my in-person college lifestyle.
Although it is important to stay on task and focus just as hard with your online classes as you did in person, I also want to remind you that it is just as important to take time for yourself! When I got home I felt a lot of pressure to use all of my extra time to my advantage, but taking care of yourself and your mental health will also play a huge role in the course of the semester. If you feel you have extra time and want to take up a new skill or hobby, great! But don’t feel obligated to use every second of free time that’s been given to you. It’s okay to relax every once in a while!
I would say my biggest piece of advice would be to stay motivated! In times like these it can be really tempting to take the easy way out, but I assure you, finding little things here and there to keep yourself on your A-game in class can really make a huge difference. And make sure to focus on yourself just as much as your schoolwork, I promise it will make all the difference! :)