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Trust me – we are all with you. Online classes make it hard to stay focused and we all feel like we are learning way less than we should be. Poor internet connection isn’t the only culprit in your struggling grades – here are seven things you can do to help stay focused in your online classes.

1. Set up a learning area

Yes, it is extremely tempting to stay in bed during online lectures and many of us do. However, mimicking a school environment by setting up a clean organized desk is very helpful for reminding yourself you are in class rather than just at home. Try packing your bookbag with pens and highlighters and keeping a notebook out. The closer you feel to being at school, the more you will act like you’re actually there.

2. Take notes

Many of us skip out on this because lectures are often posted online as well as presentations used. However, taking notes will keep you attentive to what your professor is saying. Handwriting notes helps tremendously with memorization, so don’t let the easy way out stop you!

3. Actually study

It is extremely tempting while taking online quizzes to pull up a new browser and Google the answer. Doing this will certainly make this semester more relaxing for you, but not better. Many students are wondering why they are not seeming to learn much this semester and using search engines rather than their brains is a huge reason. 

4. Find a spot you like

Staying inside staring at a computer screen can be detrimental to both attention and mental health. Try finding a quiet place with WiFi that you can plug in your headphones at and listen to your online classes. Try places around campus like Rohs Street Café or The 86. Just make sure to wear a mask!

5. Don’t walk away

This one I am guilty of doing myself! It’s easy to open your laptop, turn down the volume, then finish chores or cook a meal. However, while you spend time elsewhere, the professor is still giving new information you should know. It’s easy to plan on rewatching the recorded lectures when you have downtime, but in reality, that gets forgotten about. So, try to stay present as best you can.6Remove distractions

6. Remove distractions

It’s unbelievably tempting to look down at your phone during class, or mute yourself and turn on your TV set up behind your computer screen. Believe me, we’ve all been guilty of giving into a distraction or even forgetting for a while that we are in a class. Try turning on your webcam during class to prevent you from doing another task, cleaning out your study space of distractions, or even putting your phone in a different room while in class!

7. Stay awake!

You’ve probably heard your friend tell you about how they have fallen asleep during online classes, or you may have done it yourself! It’s common to feel lethargic when spending a whole day indoors or staring at a computer screen. Try getting a new coffee maker or planning a bedtime better. Try sitting upright in a desk-like chair that’s not too comfy. Planning things to help you stay awake will drastically improve your grades.

Maggie Deller

Cincinnati '22

Maggie Deller is a third year Environmental Studies major with a Biology minor. She loves bird watching, being with her friends, and hanging with her pet ducks.
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