• Tess Varley

A Survival Guide for a Virtual Semester

Last Monday, I had my first class of the semester: an 8:30 course on Sales Management. My professor opened up the class with a question for a show of hands of who got ‘stuck’ in the morning section. The hands raised were almost unanimous. Not long into the class, one of the students fell asleep – camera on. Luckily, the professor was understanding and made a joke out of it. This is because, as much as Zoom classes are the new normal, there is still a lot of adjusting to do.


Pre-pandemic, the process of going to a class or a meeting is what made, at least for me, that class or meeting possible. It forced me to get out of bed, wash my face, put an outfit on, and brace the outdoors...which can be a challenge in cold New England winters. The walk, long or short, kick-started my senses as I would pass by friends, experience the weather, and get some exercise. Going back to bed was not a thought in my mind, as my day would begin on this walk. However, with school turned online, everything has changed.



If I wanted to, I could roll over at 8:29 to join my 8:30 class via my bed. If the lecture happens to be dry, there is no chance I am staying awake. My sleep schedule is generally solid, and still I have to have an entire process before my first class of the day. Everyone’s morning routine could look different, so there is no need to do mine. However, just having a step-by-step morning routine may be the game changer in your performance in a class and can also help avoid any potential embarrassment if you happen to dose off on camera, or even off and the professor happens to be a cold-caller...


Here are a few tips and tricks to survive the early wake-up calls this semester:

  1. Sign up for a pre-paid online workout class.

  2. Set your alarm 30-45 minutes prior to the class.

  3. Do your full skin-care routine.

  4. Make and eat breakfast.

  5. Brew a cup of tea or coffee.

  6. Start with a meditation with Prezence.

  7. Journal.

  8. Put on an outfit – even if it is into a different pair of pajamas.


Whatever you decide to do, simply by doing anything, you are waking up your mind.

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