Survival Guide for “Zoom University”

By: Elizabeth Raiff

Step 1: Set your alarm and get yourself a cup of coffee.

Setting your alarm sets you up for success. Choose a time that works for you and hold yourself accountable. You may feel tempted to sleep in everyday, since you’re taking your classes at home and can stay in your pajamas all day. However, try to get in a healthy routine of getting up early and getting dressed, just as you would at school, because it can help you feel a sense of normalcy in these unprecedented times. Mornings are a great time to be productive, so use them to start your homework or get some exercise before your classes. If you’re a coffee drinker like me, and not necessarily a morning person, I recommend starting your day with a cup to give you the energy you need to conquer your day!

Step 2: Plan your week

It’s Monday morning and you’re dreading the start of the school week. One way to make the week ahead a little more bearable and less overwhelming is by creating a schedule. This is important because it will help you keep track of when your assignments are due and what you need to prioritize on your to-do list. One of the tips that works best for me is to have a calendar on the wall that shows when all my exams and big projects are due. At the beginning of each semester, I take some time to look at the syllabi for all my classes and write down every due date in my calendar. This way, it’s easy to plan my week ahead of time and I won’t miss assignments!

Step 3: Hold yourself accountable 

Just because you’re home, doesn’t mean you’re not a student. Remember, you’re enrolled at Zoom University! Online classes are not a freebee to slack off, so you must treat them as seriously as when we’re in person. Don’t miss assignments, be on time to your virtual classes, and make an effort each day to succeed academically. You may need to set reminders on your phone, use your calendar more frequently than you would in a typical semester, or post sticky notes around the house to remind you of due dates. Figure out a strategy that works for you and finish this semester strong.

Step 4: Turn off your phone and get to work!

Once you’ve finished your coffee and planned your week, it’s time to get to work! It’s important to limit your distractions, especially during your zoom sessions. Try to find a quiet work space, turn off your phone, and silence your computer notifications. If your house is a little chaotic like mine, maybe try talking to your family about how they can help you succeed by establishing some “quiet hours” during your classes to help you focus.

Step 5: Eat healthy snacks and plan your meals

It can be hard not to snack when your commute to school is five feet from the fridge. However, it’s important that you do your best to choose healthy snacks while you work on your computer all day. This is because when you fuel your body with nutritious food, you will have more energy than if you are constantly snacking on chips and sugary treats. Carrots and hummus, bananas and peanut butter, and yogurt and granola are all great options. Also, be sure to give yourself  work-free lunch and dinner breaks. Meals are a great time to decompress and take yourself away from your schoolwork. Giving yourself these breaks will allow you to re-energize and be more productive during the times that you are working.

Step 6: Communicate with your professors

Since you haven’t met many of your professors this semester in person, try to make an extra effort to get to know them. Send them an email now and again, ask questions during class, or attend their virtual office hours. If your camera is always off and your mic is muted during class,  your professors may never know who you are! So go the extra mile and introduce yourself, it’ll be worth it.

Step 7: Relax and get to sleep early

After a productive day on the computer, it’s time to relax! Turn off the bright screen, read a book, take your dog for a walk. Do something that you enjoy! Don’t forget to get to bed at a reasonable time, because even though you’re home for the semester, it’s still a school night.


Swish for Make-A-Wish: One of the Best Events on Campus

By: Kaylin Huish & Denise Garcia


Last weekend, the IC Public Relations Student Society of America hosted its 17th annual Swish for Make-A-Wish! Semi-pro and pro basketball teams competed to win gift cards to local businesses, as well as raise profits for Make-A-Wish Central NY. Keep reading to find out more about the event, as well as why it is one of the best events on campus!

The Food


The community came together and we were able to receive several donations from local companies such as Firehouse Subs, Dunkin Donuts and over 800 chicken wings from Buffalo Wild Wings!

The Competition


Alumni and current students came to play 5 on 5 games and ultimately win their bracket! There was great team camaraderie and it was very fun to watch. Swish was a perfect display of how sports can bring people together and strengthen the community.

The Cause


During halftime, AnaMaria Ahmed and her mother, Darlene Arnold, told their story of AnaMaria’s fight to survive childhood cancer. It was a wonderful moment during the event when everyone was able to understand the importance of this cause and why they Swish for Make-A-Wish. During her speech, Darlene said, ”When It was the darkest and most horrible Make-A-Wish gave us hope.”

The Generosity


Every dollar raised throughout the entire event will go toward making a sick child’s wish come true. We will still be accepting donations until May 5, so if you are interested in contributing to this great cause, click here:

The Sponsors


The event wouldn’t have been possible without the generous, local business of Ithaca! We thank the following companies for donating food for the event, team prizes, or incredible raffle prizes for event visitors!

Agava • Applebee’s • August Moon Spa • Buffalo Wild Wings • Ithaca Escape Room • Finger Lakes Running • Firehouse Subs • Green Star Co-op • Hilton • Italian Carry Out • Kilpatrick’s • Marriott • Panera • Pudgie’s

The Entertainment


All eyes were on IC Unbound when they performed two choreographed dances at halftime! We thank them for taking the time to donating their time to the Make-A-Wish cause!

The Music


Thanks to WICB, Ithaca College’s on-campus radio station, players and visitors were able to enjoy a wide range of music while they were competing, eating, and hanging out! 

Once again, thank you to all the organizations who helped make this year’s Swish for Make-A-Wish a success! We’re almost to our goal of $3,000!


No Success Without Self-Care

It’s nearing the middle of the semester, which means midterms are upon us! Take note of these important self-care tips because they can make or break your success!

By: Kristin Butler

The To-Do List Trap

There’s something about me that makes me love seeing a long to-do list. I used to clutter my list with tasks I knew were pointless to put on post-its, just so I could see a long list that I could check off at the end of the day. After writing lengthy to-dos jumbled with short term and long term tasks, I realized this technique didn’t actually help my progress, it just stressed me out.

Solution: Make two to-do lists. And don’t just fill it all for the hell of it. The organization is as follows: The Today list, things you want to accomplish today, in order of importance, and the extended to do list, the important things you want to do by the end of a certain time, like next week. Don’t make the to-do list too long, or you won’t feel accomplished at the end of the day. Be realistic, what can you do in one day? What do you have time for? And, if you find yourself with a lot of free time during the day, look at your extended list and see if you could accomplish something a little extra- look how your optimizing your time! Making your to-do list is supposed to be in your favor, don’t set yourself up for failure the moment you wake up and make your list. Examples for post it notes:

To-Do List (Today)                                  To-Do List (Extended)

Finish essay by 3pm                               FaceTime mom this week

Pick up Package                                     Submit internship applications

Go to the gym with Erica                         Go to Walmart

To-Do list technique Influenced by Organize Today Tomorrow (a great read):

Set a School Curfew

Set a time at night that you aren’t allowed to do anymore school work. After a certain time, say 10:30pm or 11pm: Don’t look at your emails. Don’t do anymore work. Don’t even talk about how stressed you are. Plan your day so you can end at the time you want, and then wait until tomorrow to do anything regarding school. Schedule your time effectively and have a set curfew where you leave your work at your desk and don’t come back until the next day. When you work in small increments of time you can stay more focused than when you work for hours on end. This will help you be the most productive you can be. After the curfew, this is you time, and it leads into my next very important point.

Set Time Aside for Yourself

Whatever you are passionate about, make sure to pencil it into your busy schedule. It can be hard, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. If you need to go to the gym to feel accomplished, make sure to go- even if it’s just for twenty minutes. If you need to time to nap, watch Netflix, or spend time with friends to de-stress: you need to make sure you do it. Give yourself something just for you.

Don’t Be (Too) Hard on Yourself

If I’m not perfect, I beat myself up about it. It’s not irrational to want to be the best version of yourself, but when there are bumps in the road and you punish yourself for not accomplishing everything you’ve wanted it, it doesn’t help you progress. It sets you back. And, even if you don’t accomplish something to the degree you want to, that doesn’t mean it isn’t something you shouldn’t be proud of. Don’t ever compare your accomplishments with other people. This can be so difficult and everyone does it at one point, but don’t live your life to please others, or to beat others. If you aren’t happy with how you’re performing, tell yourself “I can do better, and I will.”

Then push yourself to do better, and think about all the positives.

Stay Self-Aware

Give yourself what you need when you need it. No one knows you better than you. If you’re having a bad day, you know how to turn it around. If you need to be alone, make sure you give yourself that time. Reflect inward often. Don’t depend on other people to make you happy or give you what you need. At the end of the day, you are your own best friend, and you have to fulfill what you need personally in able to have the best outcome for your personal and academic success.


Want more information or advice on self-care? Visit this Ted Talk playlist: