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It’s no secret that most students have been struggling with school work during this pandemic, if not all students have been struggling. Whether you are in high school, CEGEP or University, it’s been difficult to adjust. Personally, in the past fall semester, I have learned many ways to keep up with school and stay organized. I will share a guide that I have created for myself that I think could benefit other students. 

Making lists

Making a list every day for simple tasks is one thing, but I took it to another level. I started making a list for every day of the week on Sundays. I sit down on Sunday evenings, go through my class syllabuses, and write down everything that is going on in my classes, readings, things due, and so on. I put that all on a piece of paper and stick it on my wall in front of my desk. This helps you visualize what is going on during the week, what you can expect, and also allows you to prepare for the week to come mentally, which helped my stress and anxiety levels go down tremendously.

Time blocking

Time blocking is something I recently started doing during the 2020 fall semester. It’s a way for you to schedule your studying time. For example, during a normal week of school without exams, you can block out times during the week to do readings and homework. This helps you visualize the amount of time you use for homework and studying and a way to avoid procrastination. It does take time to get used to, but it is extremely helpful.

Taking Breaks

Breaks are essential if you want to stay motivated and productive. Giving yourself the time to do something you enjoy, even if you’re in the middle of studying, is extremely important for your mental health. I’m sure most of us feel a sense of guilt when taking breaks during studying, but it should be the complete opposite. Giving yourself time off the computer and going to do something you enjoy is essential . At the end of the day, if you’re forcing yourself to study, nothing is going to stick in your brain. It’s better to take a step back and get back to it when you feel re-energized.

Hide Your Phone!!!

This step might be the most obvious, but it’s the hardest one to achieve. Putting your phone away is key to keeping focus. Whether you put it in a random drawer or hide it in another room, putting your phone out is so helpful. If you are the type of student, who likes to listen to music while studying,  listen to music from your laptop or any other type of device you might be using. If you really can’t get rid of your phone for a certain period, then put it in the “do not disturb” or “airplane mode”. It was difficult at first, but seeing the results after trying it out was surprising. My concentration was sharper, I was much more productive and focused. This is  an important step to follow.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

This last step is probably the most important. Asking for help is crucial for academic success. Teachers are there for a reason, especially during this time. For most, all they want is for you to communicate with them. On top of that, we are all teaching ourselves a lot of material. That being said, asking questions in class or even setting up a meeting with your teacher can make quite the difference in your performance.. Asking questions is part of being a student. Being interactive in class is also very important. If you ask a question, there is a high chance that a dozen of other students in the class had the same question. In addition to asking questions in class, it is also important to ask for help if you are struggling mentally. There are many resources available at schools to help you through these times. Just remember, we are all going through the same thing. You won’t be the first one asking for help. We are going through no joke, so don’t be afraid to ask, because to be honest, I think we all need some help. 

Those were my five steps to surviving online school. What is important to take away from this is that these are steps that have worked for me. Some of these might not work for you, and that’s ok. We all work differently. Just remember to be open-minded and not be afraid to ask for help, regardless of the situation you are in. You got this!

 

Zoom meeting with coffee
Photo by Chris Montgomery from Unsplash

Émilie Tittel

Concordia CA '22

I am a second generation Concordian. I am studying in Leisure Sciences in the hopes of working in schools and creating programs that would increase motivation in all students, inspired from my life as a dyslexic in our school system. Passionate about anything music, figure skating, and bullet journaling.
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