By Jocelyn Visnov
Like many of us, I really thought the days of sitting alone at my desk, logging on to Zoom for online classes were long gone. Nevertheless, universities across the country have announced that they will be beginning the Spring 2022 semester in a virtual classroom setting due to to the uptick in COVID cases. Thanks for that, Omicron.
While most universities promised this online format would only last a week to a month (depending on the school), based on the past two years, it’s okay to be skeptical that this may last a bit longer.
It’s totally okay to be disappointed at the return to online learning. Taking college level courses online is nowhere near the experience of actually sitting down in a classroom and meeting face to face.
Here are a few tips and ideas to make what is hopefully just a brief return to online learning a little more bearable.
Stick to a morning routine.
While it may be tempting to just roll out of bed, log into Zoom with your camera off, and fall back to sleep (we’ve all been there) sticking to a morning routine will set up your day for success, and may help improve your ability to pay attention in online classes. If your first class starts at 9:00, you could wake up at 8:00 with plenty of time to wash your face, put on a cute and comfy outfit, grab some breakfast, and pour yourself a cup of coffee before sitting down with your notebook and laptop for class.
Organize your study space.
You may find that just like me, you feel more focused and productive when your space is clean and neat. Tidy up your favorite study space so your brain knows its time to focus and get your work done.
Find some company.
Instead of sitting alone to listen to hours of online lectures, see if some pals want to grab food and sit together while each in your own online classes. This might make you feel a little more like you’re actually sitting in a classroom, and help avoid feeling lonely while looking at blank squares of students with their cameras off. You could also try just going to a common room or library and doing online classes there. If there’s no people around, pets work too!
Step away from the screen.
This seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes it’s hard to step away. While it’s tempting to log out of Zoom and log on to TikTok, I suggest talking to friends IRL, playing with pets, making yourself a snack, or getting some exercise. A 30 minute “hot girl walk” paired with your favorite music might go a long way.
Quick tips to avoid fatigue from your screens:
- Invest in bluelight glasses to reduce the strain on your eyes.
- Keep yourself hydrated! Don’t forget to drink water, not just coffee.
- Get some sleep, and don’t feel bad for wanting to take naps even if you didn’t leave your dorm yet today.
- Remember to breathe. Online classes are not permanent. You got this.