A Guideline on Zoom University: 5 Mistakes All Students Know Too Well

April 30, 2021
Leen Ayesh

Having no idea when in-person teaching will resume, university students are finding it hard to adapt to Zoom etiquette as they navigate the tumultuous year with no boundaries between studying and living spaces. Your bedroom becomes your lecture hall, class room, examination center, and office all in one go. You lose touch with your motivation to cover any work as you know that you’d be spending the whole weekend either in your room or, if you’re lucky, in your shared kitchen where your flatmates will hold a “sesh” to simulate a pre’s experience. Regardless of how you’ve been doing this lockdown, all students can say that they have been in situations where they were made to feel like Zoom University amateurs.

 

Worry not, my friend, for here I am writing this blog to make you aware of the mistakes only amateurs make so that you cease to be one of them.

1.“Who’s mic is on? Can you mute yourself, please?”

This is a phrase we’re all too familiar with. Your lecturers say it more than they talk about the actual subject with you probably being on the receiving end of this. What adds to the embarrassment is that you were likely blasting music out loud which makes your course mates wonder how you have the ability to simultaneously listen to Dua Lipa while engaging with the lecture’s content. Well, you can channel your inner Dua Lipa by making your own new rules with rule no1. being making sure that you are on mute …NO! I did not say that you should put the lecturer on mute- I meant yourself!

2.    The comments section is not your mates’ group-chat

Disclaimer: I will have to admit that I do enjoy my course mates’ occasional banter which can be a good reminder that I am not the only one struggling to understand how the OLS estimator is derived or how we can perform a Fuzzy Regression Design in Econometrics.

That being said, spamming the comments section with question marks, uncalled for remarks, or jokes about how the lecture is going can be counterintuitive as your lecturer will likely get distracted from the teaching. Make sure to leave your questions until the end of the session, and please -for the love of learning- don’t use emojis!

3.    Try not to treat your lecture like a podcast

Multitasking is definitely not your friend. The dishes can wait- just focus on taking notes for now.

 

4.    Show up on time or else you’d be stuck in the waiting room for ages.

Pretty self explanatory.

5.    Do not word vomit when it’s your turn to speak.

We get it… you’re nervous, you’re not entirely sure if your mic is on, and it seems like you’re just talking to a reflection of yourself. That being said, always write a few pointers in your notes before deciding to speak live, as this will definitely make you feel more prepared for what you’re going to say. The plus side of this is that, if you’re an introvert, it might slightly be easier for you since your classmates would probably have their cameras and mics turned off. Regardless, speak confidently – you definitely know more about the subject at hand than you think you do.

 

Whether you’re a Zoom whizz kid or a clueless amateur, we both need to address the elephant in the room, which is the detrimental effect the Covid-19 pandemic has had on our motivation, mental health, and student lives. Make sure to not scrutinise everything you do wrong when it comes to online uni; give yourself a well deserved break every now and then. Oh, one final thing- do not, and I repeat, do not HYBRnate in your lecture. ;)

Leen Ayesh is a second year Economics student at the University of Bristol. She joined HYBR in September of 2020 due to how passionate she was about changing the current house hunting situation for students, especially in a densely populated city like Bristol. In addition to being a full time student of Zoom University, Leen likes to read, have late night walks, and work for the Bristol SU BAME network in her free time. Nowadays, you'd most likely find her trying out new recipes or complaining about all the work she has to do for online uni.