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Things are a little weird right now. I’ll be the first to admit, I was definitely not expecting to be spending my second semester of college taking classes in my parents basement. I mean, it’s not all bad, I get to spend time with my parents and my dogs and eat food without having to pay for housing or a meal plan. It’s hard to focus and find the motivation to put in the work. It doesn’t really feel like college. Parts of it are nice; all I have to do to go to class is roll out of bed and walk down three flights of stairs, after a quick stop in the kitchen, I’m ready to go for the day. I’ll admit, it’s a great commute, but I really miss physically being on campus. It was so much easier to motivate myself to do the work and to separate class from my social life. When I was at college, I actually had a social life. But at home, I work at the desk in my basement that is roughly twenty feet away from the couch and the television in my living room. Two floors above me, is my mother working her government job from the office that is just two rooms away from my bedroom. Taking college classes at home is difficult, but not impossible. I have a few tips to make the best of these incredibly odd circumstances. 

1. Set aside a separate space for classes

It is incredibly important to have a designated space to do your classes and homework. It should be at least somewhat separate from the other people that may also be home and hopefully separate from common recreational spaces. Taking academic classes at home is different from taking classes at school because we are all so used to only having home be used for that purpose. It can be difficult to make the shift from rest and recreation to school and homework. Defining a space that is only for school is important for focus and time management. 

Bristol working from home scene
Photo by Mikey Harris from Unsplash

2. Create a schedule

It can be difficult to spend your time wisely when you find your time only confined by a few classes a day. Especially when you are at home, it can be easy to succumb to the temptation of putting off work until the last second or sleep in that one extra hour. I for one am definitely guilty of this as I don’t have class before 12:10 this semester, so I almost always convince myself to sleep in till 10 in the morning. But I am working on getting myself into a schedule—at six weeks into the semester, it’s better late than never. Waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day is important for productivity. Try to dedicate the same block of time every day to doing work and leave some extra time to do what you want to do, like catch up on TV or take a walk.

shallow focus photography of person walking on road between grass
Photo by ARek Adeoye from Unsplash

3. Meet with your professors

It is easy to feel disconnected when you are taking college classes at home through the computer. You are just a face or a name on a computer screen, which can be especially difficult because it feels impersonal. I find that meeting with my professors during office hours helps to create relationships with them and at the very least introduce yourself so that they know who you are.

overhead shot of a desk with someone writing in a notebook and on a video call on a computer
Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

I hope that these are helpful and get you through these last few months of college at home.

India Berry is a Sophomore at Kenyon College, from Washington, DC. She plans to major in Psychology and is currently questioning why she chose to take chemistry.
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