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This semester has been tough for so many reasons with the main culprit as online classes. Most of us are used to in-person classes and know how to function on a schedule that requires us to leave the house. This drastic change in your schooling can come as a shock, making it really hard to succeed. I’m going to share with you my tips for this new lifestyle in hopes that we can all push through this year and come out on top. 

  1. Location

Choose a good spot to take your zoom classes and do your homework. My favorite spot is my desk or the kitchen table. While doing homework or zoom from your bed sounds enticing, it’s really just making it harder on yourself. The temptation to sleep or not pay attention will get the best of you. Wherever you choose, make sure you have plenty of space to spread out and that you have all the materials you need before you get started. The reason I like working at my desk is because it is surrounded by things that make me happy. At the beginning of the year, I hung up a lot of pictures of my friends and family. I hung up some vacation postcards and my favorite art to look at. I also have fun lights, candles, and inspirational quotes to keep my spirits up. Fill your workspace with things that remind you of what makes you happy and why you’re working so hard.

  1. Time Management

This one is hard for me, I will admit it. I am a professional procrastinator. Make sure that you have some sort of planner whether it be a journal, a sticky note, or an actually agenda. The most important part is that you can keep track of it and remember to look at it. I like to color code each of my classes to help me keep track of everything. Make sure you write down everything and include the due dates! I’ve seen someone put all the assignments into a spreadsheet and organize them that way. Once you have your tasks organized you need to find a relatively quiet place where you are able to focus. I like to listen to music in the background occasionally. I listen to “Calm Vibes” on Spotify when I’m reading or need to focus, and either “Easy 60s” or “Easy 70s” for when I need a boost of energy. My other handy trick is using a timer and incentives. Set a timer and work for 25 minutes. Once the timer goes off, give yourself a 5 minute break and then repeat the 25 minute study period. This method is used by scholars and really works! At the end of the task, I reward myself with a snack or maybe an episode of the show I’m watching. 

  1. Hygiene/Cleaning

Now that we are mostly confined to our homes or dorms it’s easy to get sidetracked and forget to clean up after yourself. I know for me, it’s really hard to be motivated and get stuff done when my room is a mess. Besides clutter, you should be disinfecting more often to keep yourself healthy. I gave myself a schedule to help me keep on track. Figure out your cleaning priorities and go through with them consistently. Another important thing is making sure that you’re taking care of yourself as well. Try to make yourself a balanced meal and ingest fruits and vegetables in some shape or form. Take your vitamins and wash your hands and face often. If taking care of yourself is difficult, try putting a fun twist on it. I personally have a hard time getting out of bed to shower and get ready for the day. The thing that helps me get up is listening to loud music I can sing and dance to. Find what works for you and use it to your advantage. 

  1. Mental Health

Being cooped up in one space isn’t great for our mental health. Neither is limited exposure to other people, especially our friends. For many people, change is really hard to take. Make sure that you are taking time to care for yourself and meet your needs. Continue to communicate with your friends and family. Maintaining friendships will be hard if you shut yourself off completely. Take occasional breaks from social media and spend time doing one of your favorite activities. My favorite thing to do is craft or go outside. Find ways to entertain yourself that doesn’t exclusively involve looking at a screen. Also make  sure you are getting some exercise each week. Follow along with a cardio or pilates video on youtube. Practice some yoga or go for a run. A simple walk around campus (or even your building) will get the blood flowing and help you feel better. 

Things are tough right now, but you’re tougher. Take care of yourself and those around you. Spread love, just not germs.   

Hannah Kamman

Murray State '22

Hannah Kamman is an elementary education major at Murray State University. In her spare time, she enjoys watching movies, spending time outside and cuddling with her cat. She is a dance teacher and a tree hugger.
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