If you are currently enrolled in college for the fall 2020 semester, we want to commend you as you take on this journey. Being a college student is never easy, let alone being a college student during a pandemic. You’re juggling classes, internships, a socially distanced social life, and more. It certainly is a lot, which is why we’ve put together this article with some advice to help get you through it while still making the most of your time.
Take advantage of virtual opportunities
Most likely, your semester is happening virtually. However, this does not mean you have a “semester off” to be lazy and skirt by. While most of us are hoping that the spring 2021 semester will be back to normal, there is no guarantee that it will. Treat your virtual classes and virtual clubs the same as you would if you knew that remote learning was the new normal.
Essentially, what we’re saying is to still attend your classes and put effort into your assignments, still apply for internships, still attend virtual career fairs, and still join clubs and attend virtual meetings. College life is different but it isn’t nonexistent. If the opportunities are there, you should be making the same effort you would if it were happening in person.
If anything, putting yourself out there is going to be a bit easier because everyone is going to be just as nervous and out of place as you are. Virtual networking and social events aren’t the norm for most people. Everyone is on the same page as you, so use that to your advantage when attending these types of events and opportunities.
Use your extra time wisely
The social aspect of college is by far the most fun, but it isn’t always what’s most important. In fact, it is often what stops good students from being great students. And that’s completely understandable. We’ve all been there. But your situation is going to be slightly different as weekend social events, whether that means tailgates or something else, aren’t going to be happening.
And yes, that can be upsetting, or it can be a blessing in disguise. This situation caused by COVID is all that you make of it. Take that extra time on the weekends and really dive into your assignments and dive into your goals for yourself.
Whether investing in yourself means getting some much-needed sleep, going for a run, or starting that term paper early, do what you need to do for you without the social distractions.
And above all, we urge you to be smart and follow the approved social distancing policies enforced by your University. Always remember, those policies aren’t in place to ruin your social life; they’re there to keep you safe.
Don’t stop networking
Fortunately enough through all of this, the internet and social media exist. Use them to your advantage. As mentioned previously, virtual career fairs and networking events are just as important, if not more so, than they were pre-pandemic.
It is not only important that you show up, but that you show up just as prepared as you would if it were an in-person event. That means the following:
- Dress professionally: Even though you are meeting people through a video camera, you shouldn’t be laying in bed in your pajama shirt. Put on some nice clothes, pants too, and dress to impress. Here’s more on how to ace a virtual interview.
- Be prepared to answer questions: You may not have yet landed the interview, but that doesn’t mean recruiters aren’t going to be asking you questions. Be prepared to go through important bullet points on your resume, and be ready to explain what you did and how you did it. When in doubt, the STAR method is always a great option.
- Be memorable: When attending any networking event, it’s important to make an impression on the person you are speaking to. Recruiters talk to hundreds of people all the time, so it’s important they remember you. To help them remember you and to make a good impression, be sure to thank them for their time after the event.
Now, let’s talk about LinkedIn. Many college students don’t begin using LinkedIn until later in their college careers, but LinkedIn is going to be your best friend as you navigate this pandemic.
If done correctly, you will be able to network with other students, alumni, and even hiring managers all from the comfort of your own home at any time. For more on connecting through LinkedIn, check out our article here.
Stay motivated and stay positive
Working remotely does not come easy to everyone, especially when you’re doing it as a college student. Sometimes, staying positive and motivated is the hardest part of the entire process. However, it can be really detrimental to your productivity and your mental health if you aren’t doing what you can to help keep yourself above water. Check out this article to see what you can do to keep yourself motivated.
COVID has caused many unpredictable things to happen, and it can sometimes feel as though our lives are out of control. And to an extent, it’s true. You can’t control what happens around you or what others choose to do. But you can control yourself, and how you choose to move forward during this time is all up to you. We hope these tips will help and we urge you to check out more of our articles every Tuesday and Thursday on our blog for more information like this.