- Tips to Help You Structure Your Day While Taking Online Classes
The COVID-19 pandemic has left many schools turning to online learning. After a long summer inside in self-isolation, it’s likely that many students, myself included, are having a hard time getting back into the rhythm of going to class, in person, online, or both, and doing assignments for multiple classes. As someone who thrives on structure and planning, I wanted to share a few of the tips I have found helpful in staying on top of my class attendance and assignments this school year.
1. Set Alarms
Setting alarms is probably one of the simplest and most crucial elements in the success I have had in keeping my day structured. I am an out of state student so I have to constantly keep in mind the time zone difference between where I am in Texas and my classes in Georgia. I use the alarms feature on my phone to set an alarm for fifteen minutes before each of my classes start so I have ample time to start up my computer and ensure my internet connection is stable. My favorite thing about the timer feature on my phone is that I can set the timers to go off only on certain days so I don’t have to remember to reset them.
2. Changing Out of Your Jammies
This tip is something I had to seriously talk myself into since I hate doing laundry after it has piled up throughout the week. Actually putting a different set of clothes, even if it’s a different set of pajamas, will help you to develop some semblance of a morning routine and if nothing else, it might keep you from nodding off during your morning classes. The act of getting ready in the morning may help you wake yourself up with a more active start to your day, rather than rolling over and hopping on Zoom for your first class of the day. It will alsovhelp you keep up with your perception of time. It’s so easy to let the days and hours start to blur together if you are constantly staring at a screen.
3. A Break from Screens Before Bed
I’m sure that we have all heard about the wonders of a good night’s sleep, but your time sitting in front of a screen all day could potentially get in the way of getting a good night’s rest. According to Harvard Health, blue light, which is emitted from the screens of our favorite technological devices, may upset our bodies’ internal clock and disrupt our sleep. Personally, I try to stay away from screens for about an hour before I go to bed. This gives me enough time to make my evening cup of chamomile tea, which can help aid in sleep, brush my teeth, wash my face, and slip into my pajamas for the night.
Focusing on school during a time of great struggle, conflict, and division in the world is no easy feat. While it is important to do your best in your studies, it is imperative that you take care of yourself. These three tips are not an end-all-be-all to keeping up with academic life during the era of COVID, but they are good starting points for you as an individual to figuring out how to make this time as easy for yourself as you possibly can. In addition to that, reach out to those close to you when things get challenging and reach out to your professors if you feel comfortable or find yourself encountering hardships that are interfering with your school work because no assignment is worth sacrificing your sanity. Remember to be kind, be gentle with yourself, and we’re all in this together.