How not to be “zoomed” this semester
I’m a proud “zoomer,” both in age and university status. There are multiple reasons for this. I don’t like the idea of being around people right now, it terrifies me, and from what I can see, it terrifies a lot of people. I also hate wearing a mask while I communicate with people so I keep in-person dialogue to a minimum.
There are downsides to this method though. Just this week my microphone stopped working for some reason. The internet seems really slow, probably due to more people teleconferencing around the campus area. And last but not least, I have found the depth of my laziness due to the ease in which zoom can be accessed with a click of the mouse.
So for you, and me, here are some zoom tips that might help and some goals to which we can aspire to in the coming months.
First. Email your professors with any or all problems you are having technically. This is a given, but if your anything like me, there is a sick part of your brain that sees technical issues as a scapegoat for not participating in class discussions. Immediately informing your professor about issues you are having should keep you accountable and your professor informed about said issue.
Second. Keep your camera on when you are in class. One of the main reason we all go to class in the first place is for that face to face accountability. No matter how much we tell ourselves we can do things on our own, social pressure is one of the strongest motivators. Keeping your camera on will help you inject your life with a semblance of normality. The kind of normality we all desperately need.
Third. Keep the distractions to a minimum. This is something we all have trouble with all the time no matter if we are in class or not. There is always twitter on your phone and that one thing your friends are planning in the group chat. With the added anonymity of zoom, we all have felt these distractions grow to an unhealthy degree.
Fourth. Try to find a way to leave the house between zoom appointments. Remember the outside world? Wasn’t it just splendid? Many people who commute to work will tell you that is the time they treasure. When they have no distractions and a clear head to daydream or plan for future work. It is more important than you think.
Fifth. Set yourself upright. Many of us have been crawling out of bed half-awake to get on our 9 a.m. zoom class, or in my case, not get out of bed at all. This is no bueno. You would be amazed at how much more productive you become when you put on pants sit up straight and zoom at your desk.
I know that these are all a lot to ask from people who have already been asked to give up practically their whole college experience. But if you really think about it, these tips and goals might be a way to take back some of that normality and create a more fulfilling college experience, even if pajama pants are more comfortable.