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Online Class as a First Year Student

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

“Microsoft Teams meeting in 15 minutes!”

“Cameras on, Please!”

“We will now go into our break-out rooms!”

Sounds familiar, right?

Online school. Although virtual classes were the only option, now in-person classes are back! Finally, the option to be back on campus and experience life in university.

As a second-year sport management student, this is my first year of in-person classes since before March Break in 2020. It was a bit overwhelming to walk on campus for the first time when school started, but it felt like I was right back from where I had left off.

But let’s take it back to the beginning of online classes and the experience I had in such a different environment. Starting from the last few months of grade 12, the new way of learning, online classes, had begun. I’m going, to be honest, I slept through some classes, missed a few, or sat through class with my camera off watching Money Heist on Netflix. Overall it was a tough time and it took some time for me to adjust to this new way of learning.

Fast forward to university, and now being a bit of a pro at online school, I had to do it all over again. The transition from high school to university was hard, especially transitioning to an online environment. As a first-year university student, it was tough because connecting with people and making friends was different. It was all done online. Raising your hand to answer in class or to ask a question. All online. Trying to stay up to date and get involved with the Brock community. All online. So, for me, it was scary. When I would have to turn on my mic and talk in break-out rooms, I would get pretty nervous. But, if it were to be in-person, I would have no problem at all because I like participating in class. Everyone is different. It took some time for me to get used to adjusting and find new strategies that worked for me throughout the year. Here’s what I used during my online experience.

Write everything down!

Keep a schedule and a calendar handy. It is easy to hear something your professor said during class, but some people tend to forget it. So, remember to write it down and create a To-do list.

Practice Time Management

I had developed this skill because sometimes I needed to juggle school and work which sometimes gets hard to manage throughout the year. Creating lists and setting goals is definitely an important skill to maintain.

Create a study place for yourself

Whether it is a room, an office, the library, the kitchen, anywhere, you can study and be productive. Stick with it and get tasks done throughout the day!


That is easier said than done. Especially with 150-200 people in your class. Participate in the course’s online forum/live class to help you better understand course materials and engage with classmates.

Have time for yourself

It was a challenging year for everyone, and some are still adjusting. Have YOU made time for yourself?

These strategies and tactics are what I used and learned during online school and still practice in my everyday life. My experience, like every student during this time, was different, but I appreciate those professors that understood our circumstances and were flexible when it came to assignments that were due during the school year.

Was my experience positive or negative? I think it's a mixture of both. There was certainly a learning curve and it took some time to adapt to a new normal. But I am thankful for my family and friends who supported one another during these times. This pandemic made me realize you can’t take anything for granted. We should be thankful for family and friends that support us.

Overall, I am excited for this year as a badger and can’t wait to get things started again!


By: Amanda Benitez

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