Staying Organized during Online School

While some are thrilled about the switch to remote learning, others might be feeling stressed about keeping up with their classes and school work. A popular form of teaching that’s been used in the midst of the COVID-19 climate is asynchronous learning. With asynchronous learning, professors will assign work for the student to complete within a certain amount of time. Rather than holding class at the time it was originally scheduled, the student can work on their assignment at their own pace as long as they submit their work by the given deadline. This method of teaching has intended to help relieve students and allow them to work on their assignments when they can, but it can be more difficult for students than the synchronous method of teaching. Attending in-person meetings and having professors available to ask questions and clarify assignments is definitely beneficial and can help with keeping organized, but now that our professors may not be physically present to help us out, it's up to us to keep up with our work and not get too lost...and our beds being readily available when it's time to do some homework doesn’t make staying on top of things any easier. 

The best thing to do when dealing with online classes is creating a schedule that works for you and the biggest challenge that comes with that: sticking to it. It's very easy to put work off to the side and to take “breaks” pretty frequently. When taking classes online, it is definitely important to take breaks and get some time away from the screen, but when it's time to get some work done, its best to get it done then and there. The last thing you want to do is save all the work you have to do in your individual classes for the last minute and feel all the stress of the assignments at once. Space out your work over the period of time that you have to do it and take it day by day. Don’t do less and don’t do more (unless you’re feeling extra motivated). 

Creating a routine while your home can also help you stay on top of your work and keep you sharp throughout the day. Try waking up at the same time everyday and getting ready as if you’re about to go to class. Getting into a routine can train your mind and body to wake up on time, be productive, and stay alert and engaged in your classes and work hours. Another helpful idea is to try to avoid being in your bed as much as possible throughout the day. Of course having classes held online allows us the pleasure of lounging and working where we’re comfy, but the bed is the least productive workspace and will definitely tempt you into taking some breaks or even a nap. Try setting up a designated workspace so that when it does come time to take a break, you can step away from your station and enjoy some new scenery and comfort. 

The last thing, and probably the most important piece of advice: invest in a planner. With everything being online, it can be tricky to keep track of important dates like submission deadlines, midterms and final exams. Of course for you more techy people, using the calendar on your phone and setting alerts can definitely help and be effective, but for you who are a little more old school, like me, my planner has become a lifesaver. Keep track of important dates, space out your assignments so you can get things done each day rather than saving them all for the night before. Writing things down has been proven to help improve memory, so maybe having a good old paper planner will help you manage your school work to live stress-free on the weekends. 

This adjustment to online learning may definitely be a difficult process if it's something that you’re not used to, and that’s perfectly normal! The most challenging part about online work is being responsible with time, since it's primarily up to you to get your work done on your own time. It's easy to fall behind, but it’s also very easy to keep up, keep organized and keep focused. Sometimes we just need a little push and some new routines. Just remember tons of college students are in the same boat-- you’re not alone! Let’s get these degrees from quarantine!