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Online learning can be tough for anyone, despite all the perks that come with it. While it's fun to sit at home in our pj’s and go to class at the same time, not everyone can adapt to online classes that easily, and that’s okay! Online classes have always been a struggle for me, but I’ve decided to work hard at creating study habits that will make the transition smoother. Here are 5 tips that can make your online experience much easier!

Handwritten Notes

The first tip is to WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING. From your schedule to assignments to exam dates, write every little detail of all of your classes on paper. Handwriting notes has been shown to help with memorization, which in turn will help you remember all the important things from your classes. It might seem like a hassle, but it’ll make organizing your work much easier. Highlighting specific notes is optional, but it’s a nice touch!

Minimize Distractions

For the second tip, find an area in your house that has the least amount of distractions. I know for some people, staying at home can be quite hectic. That is why finding a quiet space is important for online learning. Make sure to tell the people living with you about your schedule so that they know when not to disturb you. Close all windows and doors. Fewer distractions can keep you focused on your classes and assignments. P.S. Good lighting is a must since you’ll be staring at a screen the entire time. 

Step Away

Speaking of staring at a screen, tip number three is about stepping away from the computer. Online classes will now force more students to be on their computers or tablets for more hours than usual. To decrease the amount of time staring at a screen, and to give yourself a chance to recharge, take breaks in between classes to go outside. You don’t have to walk far from your house, but just taking a few minutes to absorb all that natural vitamin D can help your eyes and body relax.

Study Groups

The fourth tip is about creating a GroupMe or any online group chat with your classmates. Studying with your classmates doesn’t have to stop just because everything's online. If you have any questions, or if you need a study buddy, having a space where you can contact your classmates is perfect! If you feel confused about a topic, you won’t feel alone. Also, if you miss a day, you can just ask the group chat. However, make sure you tell your professor about it so there are no accusations of cheating!

Participation

The last tip I have is about participation. Raising your hand in front of the whole class can fill anyone up with anxiety, but that has changed now with e-learning. When it comes to some online classes, you may have an advantage of anonymity. If you don’t wish to speak or show your face, just type your question in a chat box. Don’t be afraid to answer a question and get it wrong. Not only will it help you do better in the class, but it can also help professors to remember who you are (for letters of recommendation). Just because you are not in a real-life classroom, doesn’t mean participation isn’t important! Email your professors, answer questions during class, and go to office hours!

I hope that my tips were of some help to anybody struggling with online classes. Know that you're not alone, and when all else fails, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Good luck to everyone!

Urmi Shah

Rutgers '22

My name is Urmi and I am a Rutgers student. I major in biology and am on a pre-vet track. I love to write in my free time.
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