College students are getting ready to head back to school for the beginning of the fall term. Just as going from a traditional classroom to virtual learning takes some adjustment, the opposite is also true. This is why there can be a bit of a transition when switching from virtual learning to a traditional classroom. What can you do to make this change easier?

1. Accept the change.

If you enjoy the flexibility of virtual learning, the idea of classroom learning may not be very enjoyable. This can create a feeling of dread that can make the transition even more difficult.

The first step to reducing any angst you may have about in-person learning is to simply accept the change. While it may not be your preferred method of learning, finding a way to make the best of the situation will not only make your studies more enjoyable, but it will also serve you in other areas of your life as you learn to better deal with the challenges you face.

2. Look for the benefits of classroom learning.

Another way to make transitioning to a traditional classroom a smoother experience is to look at the benefits this type of learning has to offer versus focusing on what you may be "losing" by moving away from virtual learning.

For instance, in-person learning provides the opportunity to meet with your instructor and peers face to face, which some people find more appealing than getting together online. Being in a classroom may also make it easier to focus on your studies since you won't have the distractions of an outside learning environment.

3. Get your schoolbag ready in advance.

One of the main benefits of virtual learning is, if you study at home, you always have your schoolwork nearby. Even if it's in a different room, all you have to do is go get it and come back to your computer. You don't have that luxury when you have to go to a physical classroom.

That's why it's helpful to get your schoolbag ready in advance. Make sure it has the textbooks and assignments that you're going to need that day. Also include pens, pencils, and a tablet of paper for notetaking, highlighters to emphasize important information, and other basic school supplies such as sticky notes, paperclips, and a small stapler. All of these items can help you record and organize the information you're learning while away from home.

4. Give yourself extra time.

Since there is no commute with virtual learning, fitting in-person learning into your schedule may be a bit more challenging—especially if you typically struggle with time management. Incorporating extra time into your schedule can help make this less of a concern.

If you know that it takes you 45 minutes to get to campus, for instance, schedule 60 minutes for travel to make allowances for slow traffic, bad weather, or unforeseen road closures. Don't forget to add in the time it will take you to park, walk to the classroom, and settle in. Not having to rush to get to class can help reduce your stress and anxiety while ensuring that you don't miss any of the information provided in the first few minutes of class.

5. Find a classroom buddy.

Chances are good that if you're struggling to go from virtual learning to classroom learning, others in your courses are doing the same. Why not join forces and help each other make this transition easier along the way?

When you go to class in person, find someone to sit next to and strike up a conversation. Mention that you're concerned about making the switch or talk about the parts of the transition that you are finding the most difficult. You may find that they are having the same issues themselves. They may even be able to offer a few suggestions based on their own experiences. Just knowing that you aren't alone can make the experience more pleasant and less stressful.

6. Ask for help.

If you try implementing these tips and you find that you are still struggling with switching from virtual learning to a traditional classroom, reach out to others for help. Talk to your instructor about your challenges when it comes to in-person learning. They may be able to provide some strategies that you haven't previously tried.

You can also reach out to Saint Leo University's Division of Student Affairs and ask for assistance. Our friendly and compassionate staff is here to support you in your educational journey, working with you to overcome the specific challenges you face. Call us at (352) 588-8992 or stop in and see us in room 120 of the Student Activities Building. We're here to walk with you every step of the way.