Our Guest Blogger is Loralyn, one of our great tutors!
Sitting in front of your computer all day can be easy when you’re watching or searching for things to satisfy your personal interests. However, quarantine has left us in a position where now our classes have switched to online learning where the majority of our school day consists of videos and online quizzes and homework. After having gone through online learning for over a year, starting off and adapting can be tough after being so used to learning in person with friends and professors to interact with on the spot. But after knowing what this experience is like, I have found the little things that have made online learning a little easier to handle in a time and situation like this. My hope is that these tips help make the virtual schooling experience more manageable but also help with your overall work ethic and mental health as we all go through this trying time of fear and stress.
Create a healthy morning routine
During this time of quarantine schooling, it’s easy to wake up, scroll on social media for a while until before you know it, it’s time for your first class. Don’t do that. Depending on when your classes are, wake up at the same time every week day and start your day off right. Get up and go to the bathroom to wash your face and brush your teeth. Then go ahead and stretch out your body for a couple minutes to fully wake up. Once you’re done stretching, go and eat a substantial breakfast to keep you satisfied before your first class. If you’re like me and like to work out in the morning before breakfast, do that. It’s okay to fast before your workout but give yourself time to eat and shower afterwards before your class starts. Obviously, everyone’s schedule is different. So see if you can at least start your day off with a little more energy and productivity before it’s time to hit the books.If you need the proof, Alice Walton wrote an article for Forbes that includes an infographic indicating the routines of highly successful people. Take a look and hopefully it inspires you to start your day off a little earlier to put a positive kickstart to the rest of your day and life.
Designate specific times for study and breaks
No matter what grade you’re in or where you stand academically, online school can feel like a lot. But that doesn’t mean since you’re home you can take dozens of breaks and allow yourself to play games or watch a number of Netflix shows throughout your “school day.” To get the most out of your studies while you’re home, designate specific times for school work and take periodic breaks. In my case, I have two classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both run from the afternoon until mid evening. Once the first class ends, I take about a fifteen minute break, and either do some homework or prep before the next class. Then when the next class ends, I do a little more work for an hour until it’s dinner time. Since it’s only two classes, I try to bust out as much work as possible during my time gap, so I don’t have to worry about it later. If your schedule is more hectic, take a couple more breaks in between but no longer than twenty minute breaks.
Free up your weekends
Because being in quarantine can mess up your body schedule, it’s sometimes hard to remember what day it is, what classes you have that day, and what you need to accomplish before then. That’s why we have phones with calendars. What I have found helpful is having a physical planner and my phone calendar to remind me when things are due and so I have my days and due dates planned to a T. Just like with in-person school, you get all the schooling and homework done during the weekday and the weekends are all yours. In quarantine, the weekdays feel like weekends with scheduled meetings in between, but don’t fall into that mindset. If you get all of your work done during the week like you normally would try to do, then on weekends you can take a much deserved break from all of your school stress.
Take Advantage of Your Electronic Resources
Online school is just that: online. But even though you only meet with your teacher through Zoom, there are still plenty of resources including your professor that can assist you with any academic help you might need. Quizlet is great if you’re struggling to find flashcards and notes to study off of for certain subjects. If they’re nice, maybe a professor will schedule an individual office hours appointment with you to help you out like they would in-person. Or if you’re doing homework late at night and still need help before it’s due the next day,the Peers edu app is really helpful for connecting you with tutors that teach a variety of subjects and are available throughout the day. It’s a great resource for those classes where a TA or professor isn’t readily available to help you online. So take advantage of the resources that you do have straight from your computer or phone.
Online learning can be scary and frustrating, but it isn’t the end all be all. As nice as classroom environments are, taking online classes is a great way to get yourself on a system and become more self-disciplined in your work. And when you’re more self-disciplined, you become twice as productive and organized because of your own work ethic. So work to fight through the quarantine, and work to be a more effective online learner so you can still get the most out of your education. Try to make the most out of this unique situation, what are your favorite parts of quarantine?
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