Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021 – Lockdown, remote teaching and learning, Zoom. . . what thoughts do these terms conjure? We have all been through record-breaking, adjective-busting semesters of late. Who knew what we were facing while on Spring Break 2020?!

Colleges and Universities are heading back to class next fall – mostly in-person. You are probably either dreading it or excited about it, or a mixture of both. Here at UMHB, things will be pretty well back to pre-COVID conditions.

No doubt, part of your preparation for life includes the classes you take in college. This is why we study and engage in classwork – because we know that we are building for the future. In fact, II Timothy 2:15 says that we are to

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

In the middle of this portion of Scripture where Paul is encouraging Timothy about dealing with false teachers, he brings up Timothy’s personal preparation: be diligent, study, do your best, strive, know your content (my interpretation here).

Some would say that the most important part of “study” is preparation. We have all been through (I’ll say it) an unprecedented academic year.  

Our preparation for the future is key to our success in the future.

Here are five ways that you can be diligent now to prepare for the future:

Girl writing on a calendar

1. Update or buy a calendar

Choose an online or hard copy calendar (with reminders!), and plan to note every assignment and activity in your calendar. Be sure to include the extra-curricular fun as well. Start this process during the summer so you will be quite familiar with your calendar when those all-important syllabi are available and your busy term begins.

2. Check out your wardrobe

Have you been living in warm-ups and house-shoes? (or no shoes at all?). Is your wardrobe a mullet (business up top and comfort down below)? Update your look by going through your closet to see what you already own but haven’t worn in a while. My old mentor used to say, “Comfort is easy, but classy is remembered.” How do you want to be remembered?

3. Mentally prepare for f2f listening

If you have been watching asynchronous videos in place of f2f courses for a while, some pointers may help:

  • Make eye contact with the instructor (really, they want to see your face!)
  • Put away your phone (remove it from your eyesight – off your desk)
  • Be ready to answer AND ask questions (this shows you are thinking about what is happening in class – any instructor’s goal)
  • Review your best note-taking tactics (handwritten, typed in an e-document, 2-column – choose one that works for you.) Plan to take notes in class.

Instructors appreciate students who are engaged and offer feedback (both verbal and non-verbal). Be diligent to mentally prepare for in-person classes by remembering these ideas – and make sure your instructor knows your name.

Male teaching a class

4. Adjust your expectations

Are you nervous about being physically close to your neighbors? Certainly, wear a mask if you prefer. In fact, be sensitive to your peers who are wearing masks. . . you don’t know their reasoning, and you might wear one too if you were in their shoes. Adjust your thinking to be sensitive to others – maybe they would prefer a bit of social distance or maybe they need to process coming out of masks for class. Expect to enjoy your in-class experiences, and you are more likely to do just that!

5. Enjoy the preparation

Instructors are ready to welcome you back to class! A recent survey of our faculty members revealed that they prefer f2f classes so that they can get to know students better and help them learn the content. Similarly, student survey results showed that they are ready to resume f2f classes, and they appreciate learning with peers. Enjoy preparing to get back to the classroom, learn with old friends, and make new ones. Ask God to prepare your heart (i.e. show where you can improve, reveal ungodly habits/ thoughts/ desires, expose His Love and Care for you personally, uncover the blessings you enjoy, etc.). He loves you so, and he wants you to depend on Him to prepare diligently.

So, as you prepare for the fall term and getting back to normalcy (whatever that means!), remember to be diligent in these 5 things now. Have a lovely summer.  We will see you soon!

3 girls hanging out on chairs
UMHB strives to not only equip students with an education for life, but also to give every student the experience of a lifetime. We invite you to check out our website for more information, or stop by for a visit to see why UMHB would be a great fit for you!