From a season of what seemed to be a never-ending isolation, returning to campus has been exciting for so many. Seeing friends and being in community once again feels good, but along with that comes the actual schoolwork part.
There has been a major shift once again in our routines and what was becoming our “new normal” is now gone again. Refocusing on classes seems to be yet another challenge to face for many students.
“I think teachers are expecting us to be just as focused and get right back into it, but I just got done doing online classes, then no classes, and you think the same lecture style is going to grab my attention?” said Zoë Mendenall.“Which is hard because I’m used to being on Zoom and got used to multitasking.”
Focusing is already a challenging aspect for many, but reentering the classroom is understandably more difficult after having a much less structured style of learning for the end of the school year.
If you have issues focusing in classes you can always contact the counseling office for fidgets, which help many students tune in to the now more foreign teaching styles of lectures and storytelling.
“The things that the counseling center gives out, the marble fidgets,” Mendenall said. “…it stimulates both sides of the brain because you’re using both hands while using it.”
So don’t sit back if you think something like this could help you — the Taylor faculty are more than willing to help.
Getting quality time with friends and engaging in the community is so crucial to life here at Taylor. College life is very unique in many ways, so it is great you can do the tasks at hand with close friends and peers, but there is a delicate balance in social time spent while doing work, say at the student center with friends, and how much you actually accomplish.
“Whenever I am doing my busy work, that’s when I study with people or I am just hanging out with people,” Junior Jordan Nichols said. “A key to succeeding in the classroom is also having a healthy social life… Whenever you get worn out from studying, knowing that you have a good group of friends to hang out with after is good.”
You can even view this as a type of motivation for finishing up your work for the day.
Being focused all the time is nearly impossible, but yet that is our job as college students, so completion is what you make it to be. If you finish up a large reading or essay do not hesitate to recognize your achievements.
“There is nothing wrong with external rewards” said Scott Gaier, Director of Academic Enrichment Center.
Setting aside specific assignments or prioritizing your workload for different nonsocial times may be helpful so that you know where your attention and energy need to be in order for success. That looks different for everyone too, so don’t be afraid to try new styles of studying and work methods. Go to the lawn, visit a new building on campus or maybe even try a different time of day when other students aren’t traditionally doing work. This could be a new time to focus and get your work done.
Faculty here understand that school is hard. Believe it or not they were once college kids too, and they understand that you may not have a burning passion for Fit for Life or COS 104. “There are many ways to make a choice to be engaged” said Gaier,
“My challenge is to see you make it your favorite,” Gaier said. “If you can set your affection on it, your grade is going to improve.”
By setting yourself up in the classroom with a humble posture of learning, even if you are barely dragging yourself there at 8 a.m., a clear mind and an active ear ready to gain any type of knowledge from the class, may help spark an interest in you.