As faculty and staff have connected with you in these last few months, we’ve heard a couple of themes: You miss the little moments of being on campus together – the funny things that happen in class, seeing a good friend on the way to Commons, meeting someone new at Singspiration. You also miss the routine and structure that returning to Fall classes brings. And for our new students, you very much miss the excitement of being on campus as you start this new journey at Biola. I think I can speak for many faculty and staff at Biola when I say we do, too!
With these things in mind, below are four helpful habits for a remote semester – many of which I need to hear again myself as I’m also working from home.
- Create a weekly schedule. Schedule times in your Google calendar or phone or an actual print planner for attending classes, engaging chapels, doing homework and even meals. Don’t forget to set aside time to connect with your community, rest and play! Holding to a weekly schedule will help ensure you don’t get overwhelmed when projects and tests come due. And, if you’re living with family or friends, share your schedule with them so they know when you can connect or help out with family responsibilities.
- Take Screen Breaks. Pause for a few moments or 10 minutes to look out the window, walk to your mailbox, grab a glass of water, take a walk around the block or dance to your favorite song. Engaging in some kind of physical, embodied activity like this will help refresh your mind to focus on your learning.
- Stay in contact with your professor. Reach out for office hours, and ask questions during and after classes. It was a delight hearing from new students in my Biblical Interpretation (aka Bib. interp.) class over the last week – you are the reason I love my job! Our faculty love getting to know you, and your educational experience will be all the more rich and meaningful with these connections.
- Get to know your classmates. We’re all missing those little moments running into each other while walking to class or finding a seat in chapel or the Collegium or the Cafe. Find ways to recreate those little moments – join a Biola Huddle, get to know each other personally in Zoom break-out rooms in classes, share social media and contact info, or connect with each other through the new Biola University app. You might be glad for those connections when you need to get notes for class you’ve had to miss or figure out how to access that doc on Canvas!
This season of not being together on campus is tough. As we wait on the Lord to bring us through these days until we can be together again, perhaps these little tips can help us together find structure and connection and camaraderie in this very strange season.