When the pandemic first started around March and I was informed that we would be going online for a few weeks, I never expected this to turn into months. Transitioning from in person to online was a bit of a struggle at first because I was just used to a routine of going to campus, work, etc. In reality my days were very busy from morning to night. When everything turned online, I had a lot of extra time on my hands. That made it easy to get off track and not focus on my studies. Thankfully, what really works for me is keeping a planner with daily goals and this has been so much help to stay on track when I am home all day and hopping from a zoom meeting to another.

As this semester started, I knew everything would be more organized by my professors since they had time to plan it out, so it has been easier. As a nutrition major, I have to take several science labs and this semester I am taking a food science lab, which in simpler words is just cooking! This class is supposed to take place in our food lab at the university, but we are doing this from our own kitchens. It definitely is a challenge at times because we have to be more responsible and make sure we pick up our ingredients from school in time and have to be more careful since we are on our own. This class has been so much fun and although it’s taking place from home, it gives that more realistic feeling when it comes to cooking. Being in a class like this during a pandemic makes me think of all the possibilities technology offers us. I am sure many classes that aren’t traditionally online are now learning how to adapt to this and this can open up many opportunities to people who can’t attend campus.

I am very thankful I have been able to continue my studies and work from home during these last few months. It creates a safe environment and although it may not be the best at times, it sure does give a new outlook on life. It has pushed me to stay more concentrated and give more effort. These last few months have been a lot of time at home, but it has given me a chance to cook more, spend more time to myself relaxing, exercise, and still do my classes and work.

college student experience virtual learning If I were to give any student out there advice during these times, it is to not get behind on your tasks. Whether it is school or work. Many say this pandemic has been the worst and that they can’t be home all day because they don’t get things done. But we just don’t have to let the lazy part of us win. If you dedicate the time it won’t feel like a chore and you will have time to do more things that you may enjoy more.

Zul Santiago is a junior studying Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona.