Remote learners: 5 tips for getting into school mode

This school year, I decided it was in my best interest to take my courses solely online. I took this route because I knew that if I went back on campus to experience the hybrid model Denison adopted; I would be overwhelmed with anxiety, induced by other students around me who didn’t care as much about the global pandemic. It was the best choice in terms of my mental and physical health, but after some weeks, full online learning has proven difficult. I’ve had trouble staying motivated and putting myself into “school-mode,” since I am in an environment that I don’t necessarily associate with schoolwork or college in general. I’m not on South Quad, where the library is just some steps up the hill. I’m logging into my online classes at a kitchen table surrounded by the sound of televisions and my family working from home. If you’re feeling like you can’t get into the groove with school, here are some tips that I’ve come up with that might help you and me both!

1.      Develop your Morning Routine!

Rolling out of bed 2 minutes before your online classes start might seem appealing, but it isn’t the best idea. By doing this, you’ll be half asleep, and your attention won’t be devoted to what is being said during the lecture. I can admit, I’ve done this countless times, but recently, I’ve tried to get myself up every day before 7 am, just to get a head start to the day. It’s really helped! I feel like I’m able to get more done in the morning before class, and I can even make myself a cup of coffee to give myself a little boost of energy.

2.      Offer Yourself Incentives for the Work You Do!

Do you really like a show on Amazon Prime or Netflix? Yeah? Then reward yourself an episode when you finish the work you need to do for your classes. This might seem small or silly, but it will motivate you to do your work! And if you haven’t had a favorite show lately, take some time to find a new hobby to try out. Simple things like these will have you wanting to finish your work and get into a different mindset that isn’t related to school.

3.      Get Outside and Do Something Not School-Related!

This is a super important one. Allot times throughout the day to just go outside. It’s easy to get stuck in a never ending “school mode” phase, that’s really just procrastination in disguise. I can sit at my laptop for an hour and dilly dally, not really doing assignments, but I’ve found that getting some fresh air has helped me out of that stagnant feeling. Maybe it’ll work for you too! Why not give it a try?

4.      Set Certain Times for Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner.

Just like  Huffman and Curtis have certain times to eat throughout the day, to get into the mindset that you’re at school, give yourself set timeframes to eat while being at home. This doesn’t apply for snacks, but for bigger meals. For lunch, maybe eat during the typical common hour we have at school, which is around 11:30 am- 12:30 pm. For dinner, eat your meal between 5:30 pm- 6:30 pm. Having this routine, it’ll help you create a schedule to work around your mealtimes!

5.      Get to Bed at a Decent Time!

I cannot stress this enough. Don’t go to bed every night at 2:00 am. You’re not doing your body any favors by working all hours of the night, and then waking up feeling not at all rested. If you feel overwhelmed with work, but can’t get anything done, my suggestion is to get some rest, and wake up earlier than anticipated in the morning, when you have some headspace clear. This tip has helped me immensely. I’m able to wake up at a decent time and finish work before class starts.

And an extra tip…don’t beat yourself up about not being able to stay motivated. Everyone is feeling the exact same way right now. It’s a stressful time. Be patient with yourself.