Being welcomed back to Widener is going to look a little different this semester. Asking your friends about their holidays, wearing clothes that you got as presents, and finding a way to get back into the swing of things is going to be done through Zoom, at least for the first two weeks. After being able to enjoy everything that in-person learning had to offer how do we adjust back to Zoom School of Law? Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get back into law school mode while your surroundings make you feel like Winter break has been extended.
- FIND A WORKSPACE. It could be a personal office, a kitchen table, or just a desk in your living room, but find a space that you can take classes from and do your work at. It may seem like a dream to take classes from your bed and while you may be comfortable, are you actually learning? Find a place with little distraction and try to recreate a similar environment to the classroom.
- INVEST IN A SECOND SCREEN. This one felt ridiculous to me during my first semester. I didn’t believe that a second monitor/screen would help me in any way, but I was SO wrong. Especially while writing my Appellate Brief, having a screen to exclusively research on and another screen to type on made life so much easier. If you type your notes, having another screen allows you to put zoom on one screen while typing your class notes and looking at your notes from the readings. Even after we move back to in-person learning, having the extra screen to do homework is extremely helpful.
- CREATE A SCHEDULE. Being at home often gave me this illusion that I had all the time in the day to do schoolwork, and while that is true it quickly led to me getting burned out because I didn’t know how to separate schoolwork from my personal time because my entire day was spent in the same place. Creating a schedule and sticking to it allowed me to have free time without feeling guilty while also ensuring that all my homework was completed.
- KNOW WHAT YOUR ZOOM LINKS ARE. This one may seem silly, but it will save you SO much time in the long run. Widener spends a lot of time getting the zoom links organized for all of us, so take advantage of it. Go through the list of zoom links for each class, find your class’s zoom link, and create your own document that includes the class, the times of the class, and the zoom link. That way when you go to log onto your class for the day, you won’t be scrambling for the zoom link.
- REFRESHER ON ZOOM ETIQUETTE. It has only been a semester since most of us have taken classes on zoom, but a refresher never hurt anyone. Aside from it being school policy, it’s respectful to have your camera on. It is also extremely important to make sure your microphone is muted unless you are being asked a question or are asking a question. I’ve witnessed one too many embarrassing moments where a student didn’t realized they were unmuted. If possible, try to avoid a distracting environment. I know that it is sometimes out of one’s control, but it can be extremely distracting for your and other students if you are in an area that has a lot of movement or people around you.
Overall, it’s only two weeks. Just try your best to adjust and refocus back into the law school mentality after almost a month off. Best of luck! 🙂