With all of the snow storms recently (thank you February), there have been multiple mornings where we wake up to a beautiful yet dreadful email: classes are remote. As much as it is a relief to be able to sleep in for those extra minutes and not have to get dressed to sit in a classroom, it can be challenging for a lot of people. Despite us all being forced online once COVID took over our lives, a lot of us have a difficult time adjusting and focusing when we’re in our own rooms instead of being forced to focus in the blinding classrooms. There are so many distractions in our rooms— so many other things we want to focus on other than the drowning noises coming from our computers. However, with these few tips, you can hopefully focus better if classes get moved online once again.
1. Get into an environment that helps you
The most important aspect of remote learning, in my opinion, is making sure you’re somewhere that you can focus. It can be so tempting to not pay attention during remote classes while you’re in your own room. If you know you’re going to struggle paying attention, try changing locations if possible! If you’re in your bed, move to the desk. If you’re in your room and have a lounging area, try moving there! Don’t make yourself uncomfortable because it is still your day off, but make sure you can pay attention when you need to.
2. Try to enjoy it
Another block that I’ve personally faced when it comes to classes being moved to remote is the loss of motivation for class. It feels like a burden you have to overcome throughout the day despite you needing to attend class every day anyway. There is definitely something about being in my pajamas all day that makes me not want to log onto classes, but that just means you have to try and enjoy it. A friend and I have a class together, so we sat in the same place for class so I wasn’t by myself. The class became more interesting for me and I ended up paying more attention because I was enjoying it more. Try doing classes with other people in the same class or make sure you’re comfortable while you’re in the class.
3. Give yourself a reason to focus
One thing that is absolutely necessary for remote learning is making sure to pay attention while you’re logged onto the class. We all know how easy it is to do literally anything else while you’re playing class in the background, but you should try to avoid that, as terrible and boring as that can be. You have to remind yourself that this is still a class and you are paying for classes, so this one should be no different. I like to give myself little goals throughout the class to reach so I continue to pay attention and focus during. For example, I’ll tell myself to focus for the first five minutes and try to see if I can predict how class will go. I’ll give myself time intervals to pay attention so I get excited when I can make it through them. After I finish my first interval, I’ll make them longer and then eventually the class will be over and it won’t feel as daunting.
4. Set alarms to remind you before your class
It may seem tedious or silly, but I’ve found that setting alarms for when I’m supposed to be getting ready to log on, I tend to pay more attention. I feel more prepared when the class begins when I’m aware a few minutes before, because then I have time to get myself back in the mindset I need to be in when dealing with class. It’s a small thing, but it has definitely helped me deal with getting out of relaxation mode and back into learning mode.
5. Make it feel like a more comfortable class
Overall, remote learning can sometimes feel extremely awkward and a lot of people are not the biggest fans of it. Making sure that you’re comfortable the entire time will help you fully engage and want to be part of the class. I put on my comfy clothes instead of my nicer clothes that I would normally wear when I have to see people in classes all day. I’ve found that the more comfortable I feel, the better I’m able to sit in one place, listen to class and continue to take notes. I also always try to be sitting in a place where I feel genuinely comfortable. My desk can get overwhelming sometimes, so I might be on my futon to be extra comfortable. Sometimes when my bed is overly comforting, I will bring a pillow and sit on my chair by my desk to make sure I feel completely comfortable. Whatever you’re doing, make sure you feel good and you’ll be more likely to be engaged and participate throughout.