In mid-March of 2020, universities across Canada and many across the world switched to online learning in response to COVID-19. Taking online courses was a necessary public health safety precaution; however, at Side by Side Agency, we understand that online learning might be a challenge especially for incoming first year university students. To help mitigate your stress about online university classes, check out the following advice from current university students. 

Furthermore, if you want to learn more about your interested university or program, be sure to join our mentorship program!


Keeping track of due dates and test dates in your calendar… is the key to organizing your work flow!

Nice because you are able to go at your own pace during the lecture, but it’s important to keep routine/structure each day, e.g. listen to all your “Monday” classes on Monday, and follow that for the rest of the week.

I had an amazing experience with online classes. Adobe connect allows us to feel as though we are in class with hand raising features, polls, q&a etc. However, taking exams online is a completely different conversation. I feed off the energy in an exam room and love skipping questions. With online exams you can’t go back and that took a while to get used to in terms of budgeting time and efficiency.

Online classes were better! The prof uploaded lecture recordings and it was more flexible and effective than regular classes. Annotating the lecture slides took much longer but I was able to understand the content better. Make a schedule and try to do a little bit every day! I used OneNote on iPad, and turned on closed captions on YouTube for note writing (I’d recommend suggesting Youtube as a platform to your prof if they’re also uploading lectures!)

Online classes or taking classes remotely have always been my favorite as I enjoy studying in my home environment. Before remote classes were implemented due to covid, I had taken many online electives which were great!  With online classes, you can often learn at your own pace, however assignment deadlines or online exams are always set in stone. Some tips: you have to be rather disciplined and finish your work goals on time as it does add up quickly by the end of the week. I recommend writing down what needs to be done for that week in advance, so you don’t get caught up with a ton of work. Staying organized is key!!