Now that the prospective students may not get to move to their dream study destinations abroad anytime soon, many are settling for online support systems and hoping for better times. If it were not for the crisis, prospective students at this time would have been busy readying their bags, all set to explore new places, people, and cultures. During this epic stay-back when the preparations for a new adventure have gone off-track, the questions that pop up in our mind are: How are we going to spend time here and now? How are we going to hold in all that energy, bereft of all the satisfaction of ‘being there, doing that’? No more evening strolls, hanging out with friends, exploring food scenes around the city or weekend trips to havens of escapades.
However, all may not be lost after all as there ought to be light at the end of the tunnel – we just know. There might come a day when we will joyously emerge from this hibernation and fly across the borders. But, until that glorious day, here are a few things the prospective students and the students stuck with online classes need to know they can do to prepare for the future and beat the blues:
- Get to know more about your college or university: Your school may be coordinating a flurry of activities to make the best of the quarantine and improve your student experience. Get to know more about the online clubs, associations, virtual events and counselling sessions hosted by the school. There may be more. And you just have to explore it.
- Get to know your future classmates over Skype or Zoom: There is nothing like breaking the ice over the net. Make groups based on mutual interests: nerdy, sports enthusiasts, chef prodigies, Netflix bingers, you name it – be creative.
- Get to know your future teachers, senior students, and mentors: That is sobering but important. Set up group meetings with them. See for yourself how supportive your professors and mentors are. Invite student reps over the meeting room. Get to know your senior mates over the group chats. Start networking now!
- Register for courses and download your course schedule and timetable: If you haven’t done it already and if your course is already open for registration, do it now. Approach your Admissions Advisor if you have any questions on how to go about it.
- Read up on your courses: Yes, I know. That sounds like a mood crasher. But, listen to the advice folks. It can do no harm but only spike up your learning curve.
- Learn French: If your study destination is Canada and that too a French-speaking province, it’s time to muster courage to learn a third language. And even if it’s not, then learning a new language will pay off. There are many free resources on internet. Go ahead & make the best use of them! Trivia: Quebec is the only officially monolingual (French) province in Canada, while New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual (English and French) province in the country.
- Schedule virtual addas over Skype or Zoom: What is life without old friends who come together over a cup of tea/coffee. Make that happen online at fixed times every afternoon and evening for sure!
- Keep an eye on ‘Houseparty’ notifications: Nothing bridges physical distancing as indulging in occasional face-to-face chitchats with friends whenever they are online.
- Explore your creative side on social media platforms: Bring out the singer, dancer, painter, et al, in you and put it on display for all your friends to see and enjoy!
- Exercise, exercise, exercise – at fixed times: Go out for a walk, run once or twice a day- while abiding by the spirit of social distancing. Look up your school’s physical exercise advisory or online exercising sessions, if organized. Leverage the internet to learn the exercises that suit you, do aerobics, or simply dance to music – use sparks of creativity to best take care of yourself.
Sounds good, right? Hope these tips help in improving your quality of life during these stifling quarantine times, and at the same time give a head start to your impending academic and experiential learning journey. As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons make lemonade. What if these might just be the days for you students to make the best lemonades?!