How one valley student maintains academic success during quarantine


Photo courtesy of Nicolle Franco. Franco working on her online classes at her home during quarantine.

With all the craziness and uncertainty going on in the world how do college students handle stress and still succeed with online classes? Nicolle Franco is a student at Cal State University San Bernardino. She is a sophomore studying communication with a concentration on public relations and minoring in business. She seems to be handling the transition to online learning just fine. Franco is keeping up with her Zoom classes and homework while still maintaining her 4.0 GPA. I spoke with Franco via FaceTime to get the intel on how she is managing so well with her classes during this global pandemic.

Franco is an outstanding student, she always has been. She said what works for her is to start the week being proactive. “It is essential for me to wake up around nine in the morning during the weekdays and get my day started.” This helps her maintain a regular routine getting an early start to her day and to bed at a good time at night. “A big part of keeping up with school,” said Franco, “is being able to have a good start in the morning which to me means making breakfast then, right after making my bed.”

Nicolle Franco working on her online classes at her home during the quarantine.

For many students, this may seem difficult during a time when the world seems to have stopped but it is important for college students now to upkeep a routine. Once Franco sets up her morning she takes a few moments to jot down in her planner any homework that is due in the week and any to-do items she may have for the day and the following days. Before she knows it, it’s time for her first Zoom class. Her classes are usually about an hour to an hour and a half long. When class is finished and she is in full school mode she likes to take advantage of that and complete any homework she has to finish. “It is essential for me to take breaks because then I will start to get distracted more easily especially now that I am home more.” Franco likes to stop and make lunch and take a break between classes. It helps her stay focused when she needs to be.

When she is done with her work for the day, she feels like it is time to get out of the house. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible right now so Franco finds her way to her backyard instead where she gets in a workout with her siblings. This is highly important for her at this time to take in some fresh air and get her heartbeat up to release some endorphins which will help her not stress too much about school and what is going on in the world.

By the end of the night, her family is safe at home. They all like to have dinner together and socialize with each other. This daily routine is what makes Franco continue her academic excellence. She continues her old habits and modifies some new and different aspects of college life. She repeats her routine daily. Franco said every day can be different but, as long as she upkeeps her normal habits and routines she can take the time to focus on school and give it her best.