Tips for a Strong Spring Semester Start

A new semester offers a fresh start. Here are some tried-and-true tips to help you be successful as we start classes in a distance-learning format

Check in with yourself

Take a moment to check in with yourself. Do you have what you need? Find resources and tips on physical health, mental health, food insecurity, and general wellbeing through the Office of Student Life. Proactively manage your wellness by accessing the Ohio State Wellness app on iOS or Android devices. Explore internet and technology access resources if needed.  

Understand the format

Explore what to expect and how to be successful in distance-learning courses. Are your courses synchronous or asynchronous or a combination of the two? Explore time blocking as a way to manage your time.   

Connect with your instructor

Your class syllabus should explain how your instructor prefers to communicate, but feel free to ask them for clarification and how quickly they plan to respond to student questions.  

Communicate proactively

Proactively communicate concerns. “I wonder if you might be able to help me with a challenge I’m having…” Your instructor is likely also grappling with a lot of challenges and may not be aware of barriers to success you’re facing in their course. Don’t be afraid to speak up and communicate with your instructor about time zone challenges with live sessions, issues accessing materials internationally, limited access to technology, etc.  

Connect with your classmates

Familiarize yourself with the tools available through Ohio State that will help you connect and collaborate digitally, especially while working on group projects. Some examples of tools you have access to are Microsoft Teams, CarmenZoom, and Microsoft Planner (great for group projects).

Start fresh

You'll likely be spending a lot of time on CarmenZoom during the first weeks of spring semester. Make sure you have uploaded a profile picture as a way to help your instructors and classmates get to know you. You could also consider refreshing your Zoom background or show your Buckeye pride by downloading custom Ohio State Zoom backgrounds.  

Prioritize your work

What due dates are coming up first? Make a smart decision about how to spend your time, and advocate for distraction-free spaces when you're trying to concentrate. Learn more about time blockingdigital literacy, and time management.