Adapting to Online Learning

With many classes moving online due to COVID-19, many colleges and university students across the board are struggling to adapt to these new circumstances. A big part of adapting to this new online format is the environment that you are trying to learn in. Although I have had to adapt to online learning as well, I think I have figured out a few tips to make sure that you are at least more comfortable. 

  • I would recommend making sure that you are not on your bed when you are doing homework or in class. Although its comfortable and I have done this in the past, I suggest trying and keep a ‘school-like’ environment when you are working. 
  • Work at a desk or your kitchen table so that way you can have space to keep all of your books and notes organized. If you can, try and use a comfortable chair to save your back a bit of trouble you’ll be sitting and grinding out work for a while. 
  • If you can get a whiteboard, use it to write down your weekly schedules in addition to your agenda. Color code each class, or if you prefer color-code each type of assignment. 
  • Make sure that before each class starts you have a few of the basics, pens, highlighters, notebooks, textbooks, headphones, and if you are in a public place your mask. I would also keep some water near you, hydration helps even if you aren’t walking around campus. 
  • Try to have a protein-rich snack on hand, especially if your Zoom calls hit around that time where you’re just starving and can’t wait for classes to end.
  • Try and keep your space free of distractions to keep the focus on your work, if that means shutting off your phone or having noise-canceling headphones then whatever keeps you focused will help. 
  • This semester will be stressful there is no doubt about it, so stress relief will be a big part of keeping your space functional. A stress ball on the desk, your favorite relaxing scent, if it is calming then make sure that you take the time to have it nearby. 
  • When you have been sitting in your space for a while things can get overwhelming, sometimes the best thing that you can do to make this work is to walk away and take a break if needed. That will keep you from overworking and over-stressing. Even if it will happen eventually, try and make your space as stress-free and as functional as possible so that you can survive and thrive through this semester. 
  • Although this tip is not necessarily part of the function of your space, getting ready for the day fully, may that be putting on make-up, changing clothes, or even just washing your face. Feeling ready for the day will help it feel as though you are going to class rather than sitting in your dorm or house. 

Online learning is becoming apart of our everyday lives, and in order for us to be successful in this new environment, we have to adapt. Even the smallest changes to our space can make a difference in how we function during the day. I hope that you can find something here that helps you take on these new challenges as the world deals with this new reality.