6 Tips to Help You Thrive in Your Online Classes

Things have changed pretty rapidly these last few weeks with colleges all around the country shifting their classes online in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. This is definitely something new for all of us, so it’s totally normal to feel out of place and nervous during this transition. To make things easier for you, here are six tips that are sure to help you succeed in your distance learning!

1. Set an alarm every morning

This might be the hardest part of your whole routine. Because you’re not physically going to class, you might not have the motivation to actually get up early in the morning to get your schoolwork done. But it’s super important for you to get up at a decent time so you can get a head start on your day. Remember, the earlier you start, the earlier you’ll finish!

2. Give yourself “school hours”

If you were physically going to class, you’d have a much more rigid schedule. You’d have a specific start time and a specific end time. Why not do that from home, too? Come up with a time you plan to start your schoolwork every day and a time you want to be done with everything. This way you’ll be able to separate your time for work from your time for relaxation. 

3. Make your own office space

If you’re like me, there are certain rooms in your house that you’ll never be able to get any work done because they just have way too many distractions. Heck, there even certain places I can’t even sit if I need to focus (a.k.a my bed). To avoid this problem, designate one place in your house to be your “office.” This will be where you do all your work. If you don’t have an actual office in your house or a desk that you can use, no worries. You can simply pick a certain chair at your dining table that will be your desk chair. You’ve just got to find some spot around your house that you’ll be able to focus for long enough to get all of your work done. If that spot is your bed, I’ll be so jealous.

4. Put your phone away during class sessions

This seems like a really intuitive step, but it can be so much harder in practice. For those virtual class sessions where you don’t need to have your camera turned on and the professor just lectures the entire time, it can be really tempting to whip out your phone and scroll through social media for an hour. But you need to resist the urge! My advice is to switch your phone to airplane mode and keep it across the room from you. If it’s too tempting to even keep your phone in the same room as you, put it in another room. Just do whatever it takes for you to not be distracted by your phone.

5. Take breaks

Sometimes I’m one of those people who will work until I finish everything I need to get done. Other times I’m one of those people who will take a break and never go back to my work. The key to doing your schoolwork from home is to find a balance between the two. It is crucial to take breaks throughout your day as long as the breaks aren’t excessive. I find it helpful to take a little break after I finish the work for one subject. The length of the break depends on how long I worked on stuff for that one class. For example, if I worked for an hour, I would probably set a timer for a five-minute break. It’s also important to do something productive during your breaks so you don’t get too out of the groove. You could stretch, take a quick walk around the block (but make sure you keep six feet away from anyone you pass!!), or even open a window to get a little fresh air.

6. Workout

This tip isn’t exactly school-related, but it will definitely help you succeed. Depending on how much work you have to get done, you could be sitting for hours at a time. You need to treat your body after a hard day of studying. Sometimes you need to get some exercise in before you tackle all your work. Personally, I recommend working out in the morning before you get started on school because you’ll already feel productive before you even begin because you did something important. Plus, it can help to center the mind. If you don’t want to wake up early enough to workout before you get started on schoolwork, I don’t blame you. As long as you get moving at some point during the day, you’ll be doing something great! I really like the YouTube channel POPSUGAR Fitness. They have tons of quick, fun workouts you can easily do from home that will fit in with your school day!

These are definitely trying times, and I understand that all of this might be difficult. But we’re going to get through it! Best of luck with all your online courses and your social distancing, collegiettes!