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How to Make the Most of Online Classes this Spring

January 27, 2021
  • Fun in Charm City
  • Life in Baltimore
  • Students 101
Welcome back! Intern Anna outlines how they are taking advantage of this second semester online, rather than letting it set back their education.

     

Many colleges in Baltimore are either beginning the spring semester online or have another all-online spring semester to help slow the spread of COVID-19 (here’s each campus’s plans). However, after being in the pandemic for almost a year now, some students may feel burnt out or like they have plateaued in their education. I encourage you to check out BCN’s COVID-19 Resource page for some tools to guide you. Beyond that, here’s how to make the most of this semester and take advantage of opportunities that are unique to learning in online classes.
 

1. Improve Your Studying Skills

Even though I don’t do much traditional “studying” in art school, I still do a fair amount of note taking. I’ve found my learning feels more worthwhile when I utilize recorded online lectures because I am taking more comprehensive notes and writing out my takeaways from each class. Now, I can always go back and make sure I caught the name of that artist or review a critique I had to improve my work. Use this time to hone your note-taking and studying skills by rewatching relevant parts of your online classes and lectures!


A woman sits at a desk with a laptop, mug, and notebook.

2. Take Classes at Another College Using the Baltimore Student Exchange Program

Have you wanted to learn a language or skill outside of your major or college’s offerings? Well now is a perfect time to cross-register using the Baltimore Student Exchange Program! Pre-pandemic, even though I was interested in BSEP I was not able to use it myself because it was too much of a barrier to get to other schools without having a car. Now, I feel confident that I will utilize the Exchange Program because I don’t have to physically be on campus in order to take the class. And the best part about this program is that it doesn’t cost extra to take a class at another school!

Four people stand at easels, drawing.

3. Find a Remote/Virtual Internship

Many internships which have traditionally been offered in person have now transitioned to be virtual, including my own role here at BCN! I also found my internship here through BCN’s Internships Postings Page, which is a fantastic resource for finding local and regional opportunities. Getting a virtual internship is great because my hours are more flexible to my class schedule and not traditional 9-5 hours. Also, you can pursue the opportunities that are the most interesting to you regardless of their location, since traditionally the internship search was limited to where you were able to physically be or relocate to. When you begin your search, here are some Internship 101 tips for securing the job and some Student Stories from local college students about how they secured their internships.

A man sits at a laptop.

4. Avoid Zoom Burnout by Making Time to do Things You’ve Been Putting Off

Here at MICA, studio classes are traditionally 6 hours long with a 1 hour break in the middle. Many of my professors have thankfully not been making us stay on video for the whole 6 hours, and so I’ve been using the extra time here and there to accomplish some off-screen goals! It’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone, by letting my eyes take a break from the computer and giving myself dedicated time to read a couple pages in a book, go on a walk, write a letter to a friend, or throw in a load of laundry.

A person holds a pencil writing a letter.
 

5. Take the Baltimore Collegetown Shuttle

If you’re located in Baltimore, the BCN Shuttle is now up and running for students of Goucher College, Johns Hopkins University (Homewood Campus), Notre Dame of Maryland University and Towson University. Whether you’re getting groceries, getting to campus, or getting some outdoors time, the shuttle is a great way to connect with Baltimore. We’ve implemented safety measures of requiring face coverings at all times for drivers and passengers and limiting the capacity on the buses to allow for social distancing. Check out the schedule of the Blue Route and Green Route

Doors of the white Collegetown Shuttle are open for passengers.

Written by Anna Brackett, MICA Architectural Design '22

A woman sits at a desk with a laptop, mug, and notebook.

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