The last few weeks have been a rollercoaster for college students across the country. We have had to change almost every part of our routine and learn how to manage our life while social distancing.
I don’t know about you, but for me, being an online student for the first time just got real. It didn’t seem so bad at first. Sipping a hot beverage, curled up on the coach in my jammies while “in school”. And then I quickly realized it’s all a little harder than it looks. It turns out that you have to be like a time management ninja to actually get it all done.
I don’t have it ALL figured out, but here are 5 tips to get us both finding our groove with online school.
1) Use your class time for school work
Online school gives students the freedom to choose when they complete assignments. However, it is easy to procrastinate or ignore assignments. Using your normally scheduled class time for doing homework can help you stay on track and feel prepared when finals week comes around. Try writing out your schedule or using a phone alarm as a reminder to “go” to school. Using planner or calendar apps is also a great way to keep track of due dates.
2) Take a study break
Study breaks are super important for staying focused and understanding the material in your classes. Try taking a break every 45 minutes. Grabbing a snack, stretching, or going for a walk are some great ways to let your mind rest during your studies. Also, reach out to a friend for a quick text exchange or a video cha as a study break when you’re feeling lonely. Do you notice any changes in your focus when you take consistent study breaks? Are you able to get more work done or learn more?
3) Try some new activities
Finding new ways to be creative and practice self love can help you stay grounded during quarantine. Have you always wanted to learn a new skill like drawing or using photoshop? Now is a great time to try out new hobbies or finish that book you started over the summer! Self care activities like meditation or taking a bath can be done in the comfort of your own home. Quarantine can be lonely, but trying new activities is a great way to boost your spirits!
4) Find a study space
Being home all the time means that a place you normally relax in has turned into your workplace. Finding a specific spot in your home to use only for schoolwork can help you limit distractions. Try to avoid studying in bed or in front of the tv because this can distract you from your school work. Finding a nice and quiet space to work can help you stay focused on school.
5) Stay connected
Right now is a really stressful time, but we are all in it together! Be sure to take advantage of technology! Video chats can be used for study groups and discussion boards can help you stay connected to your classmates. The online learning environment is new for everyone, even the professors. Try to be patient and communicate with professors if you are having difficult adjusting.
This semester has been full of surprises and is filled with a lot of learning opportunities. Online school gives you the chance to learn how to effectively manage your time and make the most of a difficult situation.
If you need any help with stress or time management, you can schedule a UCAN health coaching appointment. UCAN is offering virtual health coaching sessions and can help you find a way to stay happy and healthy while quarantined.Anna Whitley, Health Coach