How to Manage Online Classes

This semester has been a chaotic one, and it has added even more stress to us all. Not all classes are meant to be online, and we are all doing the best we can to adjust and continue feeling motivated. It’s our first week back from our two-week long spring break and I am sure I am not the only one struggling to keep up with zoom lectures and new assignments. Professors and students are doing the best they can and it’s going to take time to fully adjust. I want to give some tips for online classes and ways you can stay motivated and on top of your studies. I will start off by saying that it is okay to feel overwhelmed and stressed right now. It’s okay if you have already missed an assignment, don’t be hard on yourself because this is a drastic change for many. 

One thing that is probably the hardest but will have the biggest effect on you is to keep a routine going. It’s easy to stay up late to watch Netflix or Facetime friends, but that also makes it easy to sleep in and miss Zoom lectures/exams. It feels like school should be over, almost as if it’s summer, but we are barely halfway through. I, myself, am struggling to keep that routine going but I am trying my best to wake up at 9:30 a.m. every day if I don’t have an exam so I can get started with my day and finish as much homework as I can for that day. 

Another tip is to use a planner! Please, go buy yourself one, or use a digital planner. If you have never been able to keep up with them, now is your time to stick to it because there really is no excuse especially if you’re stuck at home all day. Fill in all your due dates for assignments for the remainder of the semester just so it’s already there--it makes it easy to keep up with them. Apart from that, make a daily list of things you want to accomplish that day, whether it be a workout or some extra studying. It could be anything just make sure you are not overwhelming yourself with your daily to-do list.

Take breaks throughout the day so you don’t burn yourself out. I did not do that the past two days and I got migraines both days because I was overworking myself, and being on the computer only makes it worse. We need to give our eyes and mind a rest because the blue light really does put a strain on us. So, take a break and maybe go outside for a bit, just to get some sunlight or do some stretching. Also, please drink lots of water! It’s easy to forget since we are probably sitting for most of the day but keep a glass of water by you at all times.

One of the last tips I have is an important one that may help many. If you’re anything like me, studying at home is nearly impossible. I am the type of person that needs to be at a coffee shop or a library to minimize my distractions. I also prefer studying with at least one other person so we can keep each other accountable, but that one is pretty impossible now because I just Facetime friends and chat for a bit instead of studying. If this is you, then this tip will help. Set up a desk somewhere in your home and make it your area to study and do homework. I recently bought a desk to put in my sister’s room (she is out of the country) and I am turning that into my little study area. I will only go in there to study/do my assignments and when I am in there, I will minimize my distractions such as my phone. Make this area your own, and do it wherever there is space and less noise. If you have to make space in your room for that area instead, do it, but make sure you only study in that area rather than in bed. 

Lastly, take care of yourself and your mental health. If you need to take a day off to destress and relax, do it without feeling guilty. It is hard right now, and it will be for a while, so Facetime friends and vent if you have to. Do things that bring you some joy and most importantly, stay healthy! Remember, you are not alone because we are all in this together. The semester is almost over, we just need to push through. Good luck with the rest of your semester!