Zoom Survival Kit

Tips to Get You Through the Semester


Zoom is inescapable — it has become an essential platform in our lives for school, socialization and a plethora of other matters. Spending so much time (maybe too much time) with Zoom has put its problems on display. However, with every problem comes a solution!

Put a Ring (Light) on It 

In low-light rooms, laptop cameras can make it seem as if we are Zooming straight from a cave. Instead of leaving the other participants wondering if you are actually in a dungeon, purchasing a selfie ring light can be an easy fix. The lights clip right on to your laptop, phone or tablet and can be found for as low a cost as $5.

Since Zoom forces us to stare at our reflections every day, we might as well enjoy it, but I’m sure you still look great after waking up one minute before class starts. 

Most clip-on ring lights come with adjustable light settings so it can be adjusted accordingly. Their purpose is to cast lights on objects, thus illuminating your face on Zoom. Blemishes and shadows are banished with this small-scale tool that is commonly used in professional photography and videography. 

Whether you are actually in a cave or want to turn your Zoom video into a glamour shot, a pocket-sized ring light is sure to do the trick.

Save Your Eyes in Style

Staring at a screen for hours can take a toll on the eyes, and although this has been an issue for many pre-pandemic, it has become even more perceptible in the Zoom era. In order to put an end to fatigued eyes, blue light glasses are essential. 

The lenses are designed to protect eyes from the light emitted from electronic devices by blocking out the blue light waves. They come in a wide variety of frames, allowing you to live out your hipster fantasies with circular lenses. Between reducing the strain on your eyes and hiding those under-eye bags (believe me, I’ve been there), you can’t lose with blue light glasses.

Get Even Lazier 

For those days when we do not feel like making the trip to our desks or dining room tables, a portable desk can save the day. Portable desks make it easy to place your laptop, notebooks and other items somewhere without the fear of them toppling over in the middle of your call. I’m sure you could play it off as an earthquake, until someone decides to Google “latest earthquakes.” 

A stack of pillows can be an option for a makeshift desk, but it offers less stability. Using a portable desk mirrors a work environment and can amplify focus. Some desks come with USB ports and cup holders, which can upgrade your Zoom experience to the Bedroom Edition. 

Add More Energy to Your Life

Keeping devices plugged in during Zoom meetings ensures that the battery will not deplete in the middle of a meeting. If having a setup that is near a power outlet is not possible, a portable laptop charger or external battery packs can be of use for peace of mind. Turning on the power saving mode can also assist with this issue — but please, just close all of those tabs. 

The Tea (Literally)

Self-care is necessary in the age of Zoom, and drinking herbal teas is an exemplary way to tend to oneself. For example, green tea is nutrient-rich and has been known to assist with focus, which is certainly something we all need after a mere 15 minutes into our lectures. 

Chamomile, lemon balm and lavender tea are also among the popular choices that reduce stress. Chamomile tea is a floral tea that doubles as herbal medicine. Lemon balm tea is the cure for sleepiness and can also reduce stress. Lavender tea might be the most well-known tea on this list, as lavender is used in a wide variety of products to act as a stress reliever. Herbal teas are a great way to instill a sense of well-being. However, drowning yourself in a pool of herbal tea is not encouraged, as this is not the Zoom death kit. 

If tea is not your fix, having a bundle of lavender or an essential oil diffuser serves the same purpose. Aromatherapy is as voguish as it sounds, but for good reason, given its ability to reduce stress and anxiety as well as to relax the body and mind. Some reasonably priced diffusers on the market have additional funky features like color-changing LED lights and speakers. It’s kind of  like a party, except you’re the only one there and you’re actually enjoying yourself. 

With the help of a clip-on ring light, blue light glasses, a portable desk and chargers, along with teas and essential oils, Zoom University will be far less maddening. These items will be of assistance in closing out the semester as strong as possible. 

Before you know it, this semester will zoom by, so it is time to attach your ring light to your laptop and get distracted by how good you look for the next few weeks!