Six Ways to Plan Ahead

Posted by Deea Deb on March 23, 2021

Academic Success | Careers

Hey Lions! Have you been thinking about the future and drawing a blank? You are not alone. While the future is always a mystery, the uncertainty of the pandemic has made it difficult for everyone to make plans for future education, jobs, travel and life in general. However, dwelling in this uncertainty isn’t going to help. We may as well use this time as an opportunity to better prepare ourselves for when things get back to normal. Here are six ways to plan ahead during the pandemic! 

Get organized 

Work desk with laptop and large monitor, keyboard, iPad, desk lamp, water glass and a small plant pot
A clean desk clears your mind and lets you focus

Whether it is school or work or just everyday life, getting organized helps in decluttering the mind and focusing on priorities.  Using a planner that holds all my commitments, deadlines, readings and to-do lists has made my life so much better and more manageable during these months. Everything is in one place and I know exactly what needs to be done and when.  

Success tip: I’ve written a more detailed post on everything you need to know before buying a planner that will help you figure out what you need. If you are new to remote learning, it would be a great idea to check out our Remote Learning 101 Series.  

Plan for your career  

A woman reading a book
Understand what you can do with your degree

If you are feeling a bit unsure about your degree and need to understand what you can do with it once you graduate, scheduling a virtual meeting with your academic advisor is the best step to start getting some answers. Read our post, Academic Advising at York, for more information. There are also lots of workshops devoted to planning your career and what to do with your degree on the Career Education & Development calendar. Sign up for one today! 

Take advantage of the Summer term 

An Asian woman reading a book on a summer day under a tree near a river
Taking summer courses is a great way to fast track your degree

Usually, summer means taking the time off, working or travelling. This summer may be different, but it doesn’t have to be a downer. Use this time to check out summer courses. Why should you take summer courses, you ask? Here are the Benefits of Taking Summer Courses.  

If you are not sure about what courses to take this summer, or if you’re looking for an elective to round out your schedule, check out these Six Summer Courses You Might Not Know About. If you still don’t feel like studying this summer and you’re still unable to make travel plans, E-xplore the world with LA&PS! This free course virtually takes you around 12 countries to experience their culture, sights, art, food, music, literature, movies and more!  

Success tip: If you are looking for specific resources at York, SAVY can help you find them. Check out our post on Starting the term off right with SAVY to learn more. 

Focus on personal development and upgrade your skills 

A laptop on a desk with a library in the background
Broaden your skills by developing workplace specific competencies

As students, the skills we gain from our schoolwork is valuable, however, alongside this set of skills and knowledge, it can be beneficial to develop skills that are specific to the workplace. Developing these workplace-specific competencies can give you a head start in your career and help to fill gaps in your resumé. 

For most of us, online learning has freed up a lot of our time which was earlier used for commuting or getting from one class to another. So why not use this additional time to learn something new? York offers its students a FREE membership to LinkedIn Learning. You simply log in using your Passport York credentials!   

Success tip: If you are in the mood for some books, here are Five Useful Books For Every University Student


An African American woman working on a laptop
Create connections with instructors, peers, mentors, and alumni

Networking may seem impossible in the current situation. How are you supposed to meet people? Don’t worry, York has you covered! York is hosting multiple alumni meet and greets where they alumni speak about their career journeys, especially during the pandemic. These sessions are extremely insightful. You can interact with the alumni, ask questions, and even connect with them on LinkedIn afterwards.  

If you need guidance on how to use LinkedIn effectively, check out the Career Education & Development’s events calendar to register for the LinkedIn workshops. Career Centre’s New Module: My Career Plan on eClass can also help you with career related resources. 

Success tip: After you attend the alumni events, it is a good idea to create a database of their contact info and the link to their LinkedIn profiles. This way, when you need to get in touch with them, you will have a database to help you! 

Stay Healthy 

A woman sitting on top of a hill with the view of the mountains and valleys beyond
Look after your physical and mental health

Remember to make room in your plans for looking after your physical and mental health and well-being. 

Taking Care of Yourself with Your Student Health Benefits 

DIY Self-Care Kit 

Staying Social While Staying Home 

Top Five Mindfulness Apps to Declutter Your Mind 

Stay Healthy This Exam Season 

Let us know in the comments below how you are planning ahead in this pandemic.  

To stay up to date on campus life and events, connect with York on social media. You can follow us on Facebook @YorkUStudents, Twitter @YorkUStudents, Instagram @studentlifeyu and with our weekly This Week @ York emails. 

Deea Deb
Deea Deb

Deea Deb is a third-year English and Professional Writing major at York University. She loves reading, travelling, being organized, and writing. She hopes to help York students succeed at university.

See other posts by Deea Deb