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  • Catherine Disspayne

How To Jump Back Into Classes


I’m Catherine, a rising senior from Nashville, TN and I currently serve as Beta Epsilon’s Director of Academic Affairs! ADPi really focuses on how school is not “one size fits all” and sees that everyone has different academic strengths and weaknesses. My position has taught me more than just useful skills for the classroom. It has taught me how to not only grow personally as a student, but how to help my sisters grow academically as well. I realize this semester will look different in nearly every way. Being a senior and having the majority of my thoughts focused on “lasts,” it has taken me some time to realize that just because things will be different, doesn’t mean it won’t be just as great as before. One of the biggest changes this semester will come with class structure. Last semester was the first time I was in an online class. It was definitely an adjustment from in-person class, but I learned a few tips for getting back to school that I want to share!

1. Get. A. Planner.

I used to be someone who thought I could just remember deadlines and what I had going on in my head, but no! I live by my planner now and if something is not written down, it will most likely not happen. A planner doesn’t have to be fancy; I usually buy all of mine from Target and they last the whole year. Here is a planner hack: I have some friends who use different apps on their phone to keep their schedules organized. It’s all about finding what works best for you! Especially with online class, it can be hard to remember important dates if a professor isn’t reminding you of them weekly. Staying organized and on top of deadlines is one of the biggest luxuries you can give yourself!

2. Reach Out To Sisters In Your Major & Classes

Just because you may not be going to a classroom each day, doesn’t mean you can’t still study with friends and work on assignments together! Every semester, I create a tutor list where sisters can fill out classes they feel strong in and help those who are currently taking those classes. This list is always accessible and I highly recommend looking at it, even if you feel like you don’t need any help!

3. Don’t Take On More Than You Can Handle

It can be very easy to feel like you have all the free time in the world because you aren’t physically going to class. Still have a set time when you are going to do school work. Remember that you have committed to your classes first!

4. Find A Good Study Spot

In the past year, I have really gotten into finding new places around Columbia to study. There are so many cute coffee shops with outdoor seating and great menus. It is always nice to change up where you study and I find studying at home isn’t always the most exciting or motivating. I also love going with my roommates to the horseshoe to study. Being outside and on campus with friends makes studying not seem like such a daunting thing to do. Being with friends also creates accountability.

Give yourself some grace during this time. It is always challenging to get back into school mode, especially now since we have been off campus for so long. It is okay if you have concerns about school going into this semester, that is normal! I encourage everyone to take advantage of the resources that not only ADPi has to offer, but also the University. Starting out the semester strong really sets the pace for the months to follow. I have such high hopes for this fall and I can’t wait to see y’all soon! Beta Epsilon, let’s make this the best yet!

Pi love,


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