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Setting a Routine in Week Two

Andriana talks about her online classes and building a routine while practicing social distancing!

Andriana talks about her online classes and building a routine while practicing social distancing!

Hi everyone!

We are finishing up the second week of an unconventional spring term at Carleton (which is officially online for the rest of this school year), and I think that I am settling into a routine. I have class meetings every week day except for Thursday, which is when I work (I was lucky to be able to keep my jobs and work remotely seven hours each week from home). I tend to do most of my homework at my desk upstairs in an effort to separate home and work as much as possible, although some days I do better with this than others.

You might be wondering about what exactly a normal “school day” at Carleton looks like, now that classes are online (for more, see last week’s post). My classes have all started to use Zoom now, so virtual meetings and Carleton’s discussion forum are students’ primary methods of communication. When it comes to Zoom meetings, which is the closest thing to an actual class, each professor has different expectations.

While one of my professors has asked students to get dressed for class meetings and refrain from eating, another professor has not set specific guidelines. My third class does not have formal Zoom meetings; instead, the students organize them independently to get to know each other. The Zoom meetings can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 70 minutes, and tend to be a mix of lecture, full class discussions, and small group discussions. Only one of my classes has a virtual meeting during every class period, while the others tend to do one or two per week.

I like having Zoom class meetings because, among other things, it helps with establishing a routine, which I think is especially important now. To start, I have been making an attempt to get dressed each day (even if I don’t have a meeting scheduled), so that I do not become one with my pajamas. This initiative is a work in progress; it definitely feels odd preparing to “go” to school/work, while knowing I have to stay home.

Besides getting dressed every day and having a set work space, I also try to adhere to a loose schedule. I set my alarm every morning to stop myself from sleeping the day away, and then I generally do homework/work from breakfast to dinner. I make an effort to minimize the amount of homework that I do after dinner, in order to spend time with my parents and relax a bit.

Spring books 2
My books for this term

I have also been using my evenings to catch up with old friends whom I have not been able to see yet since coming home from Carleton. I think that continuing to talk to people (rather than just email or text), even remotely, has been really important. Having virtual class meetings and FaceTiming with friends have helped me feel connected while practicing social distancing. These forms of communication also help me retain a sense of normalcy by allowing me to maintain my academic and social lives.

Of course, there are still things for me to work on in the coming weeks (my sleep habits could be better, for one). I think, though, that making an effort to set and maintain a routine is the best advice I could give right now, especially to high school students who might be feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of college in addition to everything else. I hope that everyone is staying healthy, and if you have any questions, please feel free to email me by clicking on my name in my bio!


Andriana is a native of Richmond, VA, and is looking forward to starting her freshman year at Carleton. She is especially excited to experience the Minnesotan Tundra first-hand and learn what the phrase “polar vortex” really means. When Andriana isn’t busy staying warm, you can find her binge-reading, playing music, or watching a favorite movie or show for the umpteenth time. She is hoping to double major in International Relations and English, while also reminding herself to keep an open mind as she begins her college career. Meet the other bloggers!