an on-campus monument that reads "University of Toronto"

How I’m Transitioning Back To In-Person Learning This Fall

I went to a workshop about hybrid classes and here’s what I’ve learned.

It feels like it's been an eternity since we've been on-campus and enjoyed in-person classes! I, for one, miss seeing my professors face-to-face and experiencing human connection and interaction.

Although all summer classes are online, it's helpful to start thinking about and preparing for hybrid learning (a mixture of in-person and online learning), since it will be the norm for this September.

To get an idea of what transitioning back into in-person learning might look like, I attended an Accessibility Services workshop about moving back to in-person learning this fall. The session focused mostly on each attendee's concerns about hybrid learning. Hearing the concerns of my peers helped me glean some interesting tips about how to maneuver classes again after being so used to online classes.

a light red and brown building with arches and steep roof slopes - victoria college

1. Morning Classes

Commuting can make morning classes difficult. Living in residence or in an apartment nearby is probably the easiest way to cut down your commute time. However, that's not always possible. In my second year, I lived about 30 mins away (by metro) from the St. George campus. Needless to say, I made sure to schedule most of my classes in the afternoon and to set an alarm to help me wake up early and get on campus for those tough morning classes.

an on-campus monument that reads "University of Toronto"

2. Work-Life Balance

As someone who has taken years off of studying, I'll be looking to re-build community this year and make sure to balance my school work with my social life and alone time. U of T has various clubs and student groups, such as the Baking Club, the Black Students Association and other clubs to help students find community. This past year, I've made use of the Health and Wellness workshops offered as well, and they've been vital for reminding me to create a healthy work-life balance.

3. Adjusting To Academics In-Person

I've found that reaching out to professors and talking through any concerns, is the best way to get to know them and their expectations. They're just people, too. U of T also has writing centres available at each college and learning strategists who host workshops and one-on-one sessions to help students meet academic expectations and demands.

Likewise, we've all become accustomed to open-book exams that didn't require memorization. Now that exams will be in-person again, I'm definitely a little nervous about the adjustment. That said, I'm also confident that transitioning back to in-person classes and taking exams is absolutely doable.

a tree near the U of T bookstore

4. Accepting That It Will Take A While To Get Back Into The Groove

It may take a minute to adjust back to in-person learning. Just when I came to thoroughly enjoy online classes (yes, even more than in-person!), everything has switched back.

I'm sure that the best way to make this adjustment is to expect that it may be a bit of a bumpy road. Just like any other process, the beginning of the transition is always difficult, but with practice and acceptance, it will be absolutely possible and even enjoyable.

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