A Not So Serious Guide for How to Survive a Semester on Zoom Part 2

Hello, welcome back to the hitchhiker’s guide to buffoonery-no wrong title, welcome back to Michael and Kaelyn’s Not So Serious Semester in Zoom Survival Guide! We hope you enjoyed our first post and if you haven’t seen it, why the heck not? Go check it out right now! You’ll be so confused if you don’t 🙁 Anyway… please enjoy the end to our attempt at trying to be helpful. I’m Kaelyn, still writing in Italics! I’m Michael, still writing “advice” in the regular text!

Setting Up Good Study Habits

Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have the greatest study habits before quarantine, but this time has shown me the importance of keeping yourself accountable. One of the biggest challenges I have faced is making sure I actually get up in the morning, rather than sleeping until noon every day. My classes don’t start until 11 any day and I realistically could watch recordings of all of my classes so on a technical level, I could be totally nocturnal if I wanted to be. It’s hard to keep on top of everything! But I’m a planner and realized the only way I could keep up with everything was to make sure I scheduled something for every morning. My internship with Cal Parents & Families ended up being exactly that! It’s flexible, allowing me to work a few hours a week on my own schedule. I decided that I would work every morning at 9 am for an hour, and it’s been a great way to start my day! I also know that I don’t like to work in the evenings as much as possible, so I set aside the 9-5 work schedule to crank out work all day. It allows me to enjoy my evenings (unless I’m particularly busy that week) while staying on top of my schedule. Figure out what works for you, but be consistent. Consistency is hard to find these days (hence why Michael doesn’t have a girlfriend) but if you create it for yourself, things will feel much more normal. 

Food at Home vs. Campus

The Bay Area may be one of the food capitals of the world, but will you get to have any of it? Chances are, not for now. Crossroads dining hall, lovingly known as Croads, will be your home. Its perks include that it’s close to campus, full of food, and included in your housing plan. Michael doesn’t even live on campus and still goes there seven times a day! It’s a one stop shop for all of your dining needs and you don’t have to spend your time grocery shopping or cooking! 

I, on the other hand, am at home. One skill I attempted to pick up in the months of quarantine was cooking for myself! I started off by trying to learn how to make sourdough but you only burn so much yeasty bread before you realize it might not be your thing. Living in San Diego, I never really had taken advantage of all the fine ingredients it has to offer, and it turned out to be quite a lot. The amount of grocery stores I have explored since COVID has been mind boggling. But now I know exactly where to get the best tortillas around. 

Food at home and on campus really are as much as you make of it. Cooking is time consuming as heck and if you’re like Michael you only learned how to boil water three months ago. It’s important to keep up with good nutrition during this time, so whatever way you’re able to make that happen, go for it! 

How to Make New Friends 

The key to making friends during the virtual semester is to join clubs that you think will have the people most like you. Berkeley has so many students it seems like there is a club for everything. Whether you have a strange obsession with solving rubix cubes with your feet, weaving baskets underwater, or weaving fake beards for llamas, be sure to check out Berkeley’s student organizations as they might have the right club for you! 

Zoom Dates

I know I haven’t had a date anytime in the recent past, but I still feel qualified to give my two-sense here. After all, who wouldn’t want to go on a date with a campus ambassador who persistently shares random facts about how Berkeley is the college most like Hogwarts in the entire world! Ok, seriously my advice is to follow the Bay Area playbook. This means to grab some food to-go that you both like and find an awesome view to enjoy together. Some food suggestions are Sliver Pizza and sushi. View ideas can be the Golden Gate bridge view at the base of the Campanile, the Big C view, or the view on Grizzly Peak Blvd if you have a car. Be cautious however, success rates for the dates will be unparalleled (not that I would know).

When you think you can’t do zoom any longer

If you ever feel like the virtual semester has you down or you feel down and you don’t know why you’re sad, remember to be kind to yourself. We are living in unprecedented times and I can guarantee that many people are feeling the same way you are. So take a break from your stressors whether that be school or social media and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. And if you or a friend needs a quick pick-me-up try to plan the fun adventures you’ll have once zoom is over. For example… tea! Not the drama, though I’m sure plenty of that’ll happen once people can see each other again. Like the drink. Michael and I are both tea hounds and have been dreaming of visiting a San Francisco tea shop. In a lot of ways, the simple things are what make life so much better, so think as small or as big as you want when coming up with ideas. Just remember to watch out for your fellow bears as you will need to lean on someone during these tough times. 

We thank you all so much for joining us in this two parter blog post. Hopefully you gained some insight or at the very least had a good laugh. Stay safe and strong during these unprecedented times. And, as always, GO BEARS!! 

Kaelyn Schlegel

Author: Kaelyn Schlegel

Hello all! I am a second-year at Cal studying Society & Environment as well as Geography, coming from the small town of Ojai, California. Beyond being a campus ambassador, I am involved in student advocacy and community service. Ask me about 37.8751° N, 122.2387° W